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ROLLING STONES 















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ALICE A E 7 1 
ار‎ VIOLENT 
STRANGLERS FEMMES 
JACKSON 
BROWNE NICO 


PREFAB 
SPROUT 


CARGO COLLECTIVE 





THE HOLY FAMILY 


THE HOLY FAMILY 
ROCKET RECORDINGS LP / CD 
Ahaunting, fog-draped voyage of kosmische 
polyrhythms and psych folk wonder — a stellar 
kaleidoscopic vision from a new band featuring 
members of Guapo, The Utopia Strong, Coil, Chrome 
Hoof etc. 


LUCY GOOCH 
RAIN’S BREAK EP 
FIRE RECORDS LP / CD 
Lucy Gooch's music is a beautiful ethereal fog; like 
hearing a subliminal echo of Kate Bush on a fading tape 
loop. 'Rain's Break’ follows the much-touted ‘Rushing’ 
EP. "The moment is short, but Lucy Gooch's music 
makes it last forever” NPR 


PART CHIMP 
DROOL 
WRONG SPEED RECORDS LP / CD 
With a skewed melodic skill to match their mighty 
potency, Part Chimp will demolish your house, but you'll 
cheerfully thank them for it afterwards. A joy through 
vacuum-tubed catharsis . 


MOUNTAIN CALLER 
CHRONICLE: PROLOGUE EP 
NEW HEAVY SOUNDS 12" 
Mountain Caller return with a new EP. The conceptual 
prequel to their debut album, showcasing the band's 
dynamic mix of heavy, expansive and progressive metal. 





STARS AND RABBIT 
ON DIFFERENT DAYS 
TRAPPED ANIMAL LP 
The Indonesian duo - huge in their home country — first 
release with UK's Trapped Animal, a trippy indie-folk 
wander through the last year. An album full of hope. FFO 
Cardigans, Les Paul Mary Ford. 


EVANS MCRAE 
ONLY SKIN 
E&M RECORDS CD 
Only Skin is the debut album from Evans McRae, a new 
collaboration from seasoned song-writers Tom McRae & 
Lowri Evans. This stunning & eclectic suite of emotionally 
sophisticated songs shows a new side to both these 
much-loved artists. 


THE QUIREBOYS GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR 


A BIT OF WHAT YOU FANCY & D'S PEE AT STATE'S END 
(30TH ANNIVERSARY) CONSTELLATION LP / CD 
OFF YER ROCKA LP / CD БҮВЕ returns with a soundtrack for our times: two rivet- 


Re-recorded version of this classic album to mark the ing side-lengths of noise-drenched post-rock spittle and 
albums 30th Anniversary -. Features new Gypsy Rock n’ grit, two shorter elegiac companion pieces. Deluxe vinyl 
Roll versions of ‘I Don't Love You Anymore’ and ‘Mayfair’ is 180gLP + 10" in thermograph gatefold. 

plus two additional live tracks 


AN AMALGAMATION OF RECORD 


IRELAND: DUBLIN - SPINDIZZY / KILKENNY - ROLLER COASTER RECORDS № ERN IR 


SHOPS AND © 


SABLE STARR RECORDS 


- BENDING SOUND / CAMARTHENSHIRE - TANGLED PARROT / CARDIFF - SPILLERS / NEWPORT - DIVERSE / SWANSEA - DERRICKS / SWANSEA - TANGLED PARROT 


LABELS 


DUNDEE - ASSAI / EDINBURGH - ASSAI / GLASGOW - LOVE MUSIC / GLASGOW - MONORAIL / WALE 
NEST: BARROW-IN-FURNESS - TNT RECORDS / LIVERPOOL - 81 RENSHAW LTD / LIVERPOOL - PROBE / МАМ- 


BINGLEY - FIVE RISE RECORDS / HARROGATE - P & C MUSIC / HEADINGLEY - VINYL WHISTLE / HUDDERSFIELD - VINYL ТАР / LEEDS - CRASH / LEEDS - JUMBO RECORDS / NEWCASTLE - J G WINDOWS 


КАТІЛЯСЛЕЗЫ ВЭРЫВЛЕТСЯ 


JULIAN COPE & 
THE TEARDROP EXPLODES 
COLD WAR PSYCHEDELIA 
HEAD HERITAGE LP 
Exhilarating! Dynamic! 1982 music from the Death Throes 
of Liverpool's maddest band. Also, 1989 Head-On reflections 
in spoken word & breath-taking Post-Punk sound collage. 
Clad in appropriately intriguing packaging? U-Betcha! 





HOLLIE KENNIFF 
THE QUIET DRIFT 
WESTERN VINYL LP / CD 
An ambient gallery of cloudlike synths and wordless 
vocals. Bleep says it's “some of the nicest ambient 
composition we've heard in a while” RIYL Grouper, 
Julianna Barwick, Malibu, Cocteau Twins 


JODI 
BLUE HERON 
SOOPER RECORDS LP / CD 
On their debut LP Blue Heron, songwriter Nick Levine's 
soft-spoken “queer country” songs deliver a series of 
intimate moments capable of turning your inner world 
upside down with a whisper. 





BRAINSTORY 
RIPE 


BIG CROWN RECORDS LP / CD 
Produced by Brainstory, mixed by Leon Michels and 


recorded during the thick of the Covid lockdown. Ripe 
pulls from Jazz, Hip Hop, 70s Funk, 60s Soul, and life in 


Southern California in the year 2021. 


DEDICATED T0 


BRINGING YOU NEW 





THE MOUNTAIN GOATS 
DARK IN HERE 


MERGE RECORDS LP / CD 
12 songs for singing in caves, bunkers, foxholes, and 
secret spaces beneath the floorboards 


CEDRIC BURNSIDE 
| BE TRYING 
SINGLE LOCK RECORDS LP / CD 
The blues is music for all time, past, present, and future 
and few artists simultaneously exemplify those multiple 
temporal moments of the genre like North Mississippi's 
Cedric Burnside. 


BACAO RHYTHM & STEEL BAND 

EXPANSIONS 
BIG CROWN RECORDS LP / CD 
On their 3rd album, aptly titled Expansions, BRSB are 
back. Covering songs that span genres & range from 
mega hits to album cuts, they make them their own with 

their unique approach to the traditional steel pans of 

Trinidad & Tobago. 


WHITE FLOWERS 
DAY BY DAY 


TOUGH LOVE LP / CD 
Day By Day is the dark-hued dreampop debut from 
Preston duo, White Flowers, recorded in an abandoned 
textile mill and produced with Doves' Gez Williams. 


MUSIC 


ABERYSTWYTH - ANDY'S RECORDS / BANGOR 


CHESTER - PICCADILLY RECORDS / PRESTON - ACTION RECORDS H-EA 

/ NEWCASTLE - BEATDOWN / NEWCASTLE - BEYOND VINYL / NEWCASTLE - REFLEX / SCARBOROUGH - RECORD REVIVALS / SHEFFIELD - BEAR TREE / SHEFFIELD - RECORD COLLECTOR / SHEFFIELD - SPINNING DISCS / STOCKTON ON TEES - SOUND IT OUT / WAKEFIELD - WAH WAH 
RECORDS MIDLANDS; BEDFORD - SLIDE RECORDS / CAMBRIDGE - LOST IN VINYL / CAMBRIDGE - RELEVANT / COVENTRY - JUST DROPPED IN / DERBY - REVEAL RECORDS / LEAMINGTON SPA - HEAD / LEAMINGTON SPA - SEISMIC RECORDS / LEIGHTON BUZZARD - BLACK CIRCLE RE- 
CORDS / LETCHWORTH - DAVID'S MUSIC / LOUTH - OFF THE BEATEN TRACK / NOTTINGHAM - ROUGH TRADE / OXFORD - TRUCK STORE / STOKE ON TRENT - MUSIC МАМА / STOKE ON TRENT - STRAND RECORDS / WITNEY - RAPTURE SOUTH: BEXHILL ON SEA - MUSIC'S NOT DEAD / 
BLANDFORD FORUM - REVOLUTION ROCKS / BOURNEMOUTH - AVID RECORDS / BOURNEMOUTH - VINILO / BRIGHTON - RESIDENT / BURY ST.EDMUNDS - VINYL HUNTER / GODALMING - RECORD CORNER/ HASTINGS - CLOTH AND WAX / LEIGH-ON-SEA - FIVES / LONDON - BANQUET 
GRAVITY / LONDON - CASBAH / LONDON - FLASHBACK / LONDON - ROUGH TRADE EAST / LONDON - ROUGH TRADE TALBOT RD / LONDON - SISTER RAY / LUTON - VINYL REVELATIONS / ROMSEY - HUNDRED / SOUTHSEA - PIE & VINYL / SOUTHEND ON SEA - SOUTH RECORDS / ST AL- 


BANS - EMPIRE RECORDS / WATFORD - LP CAFE / WIMBORNE - SQUARE RECORDS / WHITSTABLE - GATEFIELD SOUNDS / WINCHESTER - ELEPHANT RECORDS 


RAVES FROM THE GRAVE / MARLBOROUGH - SOUND KNOWLEDGE / TOTNES - DRIFT | 


17 HEATHMAN'S ROAD, LONDON SWS 4T) - CARGORECORDS.CO.UK - 


BRISTOL - RADIO ON / BRISTOL - ROUGH TRADE / CHELTENHAM - BADLANDS / FALMOUTH - JAM / FROME 
BLEEP.COM / BOOMKAT.COM / JUNORECORDS / MARBLE VINYL RECORDS / NORMANRECORDS.COM / PEBBLERECORDS.CO.UK / RECORDSTORE.CO.UK 


INFO@CARGORECORDS.CO.UK 


CONTENTS 


LONDON * MEMPHIS * LEICESTER 





AUGUST 2021 Issue 333 








FEATURES 
26 BILLY F GIBBONS 


Texan blues surrealist, stylist and 
survivor: ZZ Top's mainman runs ona 
full tank of brio. But does he sleep with 
his beard under or over the covers? 


32 CROWDED 
HOUSE the Antipodes’ 


second-biggest pop export are back, 
after self-doubt, sackings anda 
suicide. Fleetwood Maca role 
model? Surprisingly, yes. 


38 YOLA Deep soul stirrings 
from the Brit belter, now with 
added attitude (and Dan Auerbach). 
“Nashville's been a magic place for 
me,” she tells Bill DeMain. 


42 ROGER CHAPMAN 


Family's force majeure chose rock 
over jail, but at 79 he’s no closer to 





“It’s a team, чў 
isn’t it: Mick 4 compromising: “I just get on stage 


and sing things like." 


Jagger and Keith | 48 VIOLENT FEMMES 
Richards? It was k оч сірге 


оп еасһ other. MOJO talks to all the 


ипһеага оғ tO members of a band ahead ofits time. 


let someone j 52 NICO Have the creative gifts of 

+ 99 } the Velvet Underground siren been 
else ІП. belittled? A focus on her early solo 
albums and seismic encounter with 
Jim Morrison suggests so. 


58 THEROLLING 
STONES Fifty years old 


and still swaggering, Sticky Fingers 
is unzipped by our panel of experts. 
Plus: the final destination of 

The Rolling Stones Mobile. 





COVER STORY 
66 AMY WINEHOUSE 


Ten years since her tragic death, the 
depth and breadth of the Southgate 
soul diva’s dazzling talents are 

27, still being fathomed. Friends 

and colleagues celebrate a singer 
ж- and songwriter sans pareil. 





David Montgomery 





MOJO 3 










Bring it all back: 
Jakob Dylan and 
the return of 





The Wallflowers, 
Albums, p84. 





MOJO 


ALL BACK TO MY PLACE 


Joan Armatrading, Danny Elfman and Faye 
Webster get busy on the ones and twos. 


REAL GONE Lloyd Price, Anita Lane, 


Pervis Staples, Roger Hawkins and many 
others, so sorry you had to go. 


ASK MOJO Which sure-fire superhits 


fizzled out when first released? 


HELLO GOODBYE Yes, it's her. 


Wendy Smith recalls time in the magical 
shadow world of Prefab Sprout. 














SUMMER OF SOUL А massive 


festival of soul in Harlem in summer 69? How 
could we not know? The Roots' Questlove's 
directorial movie debut unearths the story, 
starring Stevie, Sly, Nina Simone and others. 


THE STRANGLERS Last year, 
we lost Stranglers keyboardist Dave Greenfield 
to Covid. Bassist JJ Burnel knew they had to 
finish the LP they'd started with him. "We've 
still got a lot to prove to ourselves," he reflects. 


JACKSON BROWNE with 


new LP Downhill From Everywhere, the veteran 
singer-songwriter gets in Confidential mood 
/ and reflects on feuds, excess and politics, 
Caron tha bis Meet admitting, “I basically know nothing." 


Ellen Mclilwaine, Cult / Р | ALICE COLTRANE Drew 


ር 1 archival release finds the spiritual jazz icon in 
hymnal voice and organ form. Her son Ravi, 
who oversaw the record, says: "When | heard 
[the tapes], | was blown away." 


SQU ID Rising! The un-linear Brighton 
post-punks talk Krautrock, JG Ballard and 
painful in-band democracy. Across the page, 
the Lahore/Boston minimalism of Arooj Aftab. 








MOJO FILTER 
78 NEW ALBUMS Durand Jones, 


David Crosby, Chrissie Hynde and much more! 


92 REISSUES ia Nyro, Mudhoney, 


Annette Peacock, The White Stripes and more. 


103 SCREEN сат Cooke to Suge Knight, an 


Amazing Snakehead to sisters with transistors. 





All signs point to 
Durand Jones & 104 BOOKS wii Sergeant's Bunnyman, plus 


The Indications, ; n | 
Lead Album p78. The Orb, Nico, the ’80s and another Dylan tome! 





THIS МТН'5 CONTRIBUTORS INCLUDE 





Dr Jennifer ges Andy Fyfe Jim Herrington 
Otter Bickerdike / The first time Kiwi native Fyfe Jim has photographed the greats, 
Theauthor of Why Vinyl Matters, interviewed Crowded House was near-misses and never-weres of 
Jennifer's Rock N Roll Confidential ў for NME іп 1994, just three weeks | themusic/celebrity world for 
podcast starts in August, with Co after Paul Hester had left the decades, the evidence soon to 


be seen in a second volume of 
his work. The Climbers (2017) 
was the first. Jim photos Yola 

for M0JO Presents, p38. 
Instagram: @jimherrington. 
Website: www.jimherrington.com 


group. After moving to the UK in 
1988, Andy worked on the staff 
at NME, Select and then Q, and 
has contributed to М0/0 since 
2005. In this issue, he reconnects 
4 with Neil Finn & Co from p32. 


guests including Johnny Marr, 
Blake Schwarzenbach and Will 
Sergeant. From California, she 
now lives in London with husband 
James and dog Alfie. Her new book 
about Nico is extracted from p52. 











Panik 





4 MOJO 


* SPECIAL EXCLUSIVE ІР & CD BUNDLES 







THE RESURGENCE OF 
MATT SWEENEY  . - 
8 BONNIE ‘PRINCE’ BILLY - 


: SUPERWOLVES... 


AVAILABLE FROM DOMINOMUSIC.COM "% 


BE AWARE OF SUPERWOLVES ` 






Soul Feud 


The Swampers, featuring Roger 
Hawkins, might have been the most 


famous Muscle Shoals backing band. 


But in 1969, after a spat with boss 
Rick Hall, they left Fame to set up 
their own Muscle Shoals Sound 
Studio. In their place, Hall recruited 
a new crew, later known as The 
Fame Gang, who also recorded a 
couple of singles. Soul Feud, from 
1969, makes a tremendously funky, 
strutting overture to our comp. 





Written by Albert Lowe, Jesse Boyce. Screen 
Gems-EMI 


Cover Me 


A session guitar regular in Muscle 
Shoals, Eddie Hinton was also a 
terrific songwriter - very much a 
contemporary of Dan Penn - anda 
pretty handy vocalist, too: His most 


Bed, but we've gone for Hinton's 
demo of this plaintive Southern 
soul classic, given the full-on 
treatment by Percy Sledge in 1968 
and then Jackie Moore in 1971. 





famous song might be Breakfast Iri 





Written by Greene, Hinton. Published by Warner 
Chappell Music Ltd መዜ 2000 Eddie Hinton. From 
` Dear Y'all (Zane Records) www.zanerecords.com 
applemusic.com 


(4), Alamy, Ace Records, Alysse Gafkjen, Danny Clinch, Jim Herrington 


Getty 


6 MOJO 


2 


I Can See Es 

A gospel institution for over 80 years, 
the Blind Boys originally formed in 
Talladega, three hours from Muscle 
Shoals, in 1939. This righteous track, 
made there in 2017, features founder 
member Clarence Fountain. 





Written by Joey Williams, Ray Ladson, Jimmy 
Sloan. Published by BBOA Publishing (BMI). 
Administered by BMG / DoraSues Publishing (BMI) 
/ Modern Roots Music and Publishing (BMI). From 
Almost Home (Single Lock Records); www. 
singlelock.com Recorded at FAME Studios, Muscle 
Shoals, Alabama USA. Produced by Steve Berlin 





10 

I'm Qualified 

Another one of Fame's early intake 
alongside Arthur Alexander, Jimmy 
Hughes was a local gospel singer 
and cousin of Percy Sledge, who 
recorded Rick Hall and Quin Ivy's 
I'm Qualified in 1962. When the 
single flopped. Hughes went back 


` to work in a rubber factory, but his 


persistence would eventually pay 
off a couple of years later when he 
took a new song of his, Steal Away, 
to Hall. Theresulting single made it 
as high'as 17 in the US charts. 





Written by Quin Ivy, Rick Hall. Screen Gems — EMI 


OTIS REDDING, WILSON PICKETT 


3 

Save Me 

Few artists who passed through 
Fame had more of an impact than 
Wilson Pickett, who recorded 
numerous sessions at the studio for 
Atlantic in the '60s. This rave-up, 
penned by Fame regulars George 
Jackson and Dan Greer, opened 
1968's Hey Jude; an LP also notable 


for introducing the guitar skills of 
Duane Allman. 





Written by Dan Greer, George Jackson. Published 
by Fame, BMI ©1969 WEA International Inc. 
USAT20103617 Licensed courtesy of Warner Music 
UK Ltd. 





11 


Where The Devil Don’t Stay 


Although DBTs have been torch- 
bearers for Muscle Shoals culture for 
over two decades, thanks to the local 
roots of core members Patterson 
Hood and Mike Cooley, their long 
recording career has rarely strayed 
back to the area. But 2004’s mighty 
fifth album The Dirty South, was 
recorded at Fame and opened with 
this searing, Cooley-fronted rocker. 





Written by Cooley / Cooley. Published by Wayward 
Johnson's Music (BMI). ©&©2004 New West 
Records. From The Dirty South (New West 
Records). www.newwestrecords.com 


7$ 


GREGG ALLMAN, BETTYE LAVETTE 
JASON ISBELL & MORE 





4 
I Still Want To Be Your 
Baby (Take Me Like І Am) 


LaVette first turned up at Fame in 
1972, recording an album - Child Of 
Тһе Seventies - bafflingly shelved 
until 2015. By then, she'd made a 
return visit in 2007 and worked with 
second generation Shoals rockers 
the Drive-By Truckers on the fine 
Scene Of The Crime. It's written by 
another key player, guitarist Eddie 
Hinton, more of whom later. 





Written by Edward C Hinton. ®&©2007 Anti, Inc. 
Published by Eddie Hinton Music (BMI). From The 
Scene of The Crime. 





Walk Away With Me 


Some soul legends took their time 
making it to Muscle Shoals, a case in 
point being Johnnie Taylor. His 
career began in the 19505, singing 
gospel alongside Al Green, and by 
the late '60s was a cornerstone of 
the Stax roster. His Muscle Shoals 
era began in the '80s and peaked 
with 1996's Good Love! - where this 
Dark End Of The Street-like quiet 
storm, featuring the Swampers, 
comes from. 





Written by George Jackson. Peer Music III, Malaco 
Music 


USCLE SHOALS, ALABAMA, FIRST APPEARED ON THE 
musical map 99 years ago, with local eminence W.C. Handy 
recording his Muscle Shoals Blues in tribute. But its critical 
role really began in the late '50s, when Rick Hall and his 







associates launched their Fame Studios in the area. By 1961, they had OTIS 
their first hit record - Arthur Alexander's You Better Move On - and, REDDING 
soon, the area had become a crucible of soul and southern rock, and ризом 
of elite recording practices at both Fame and the Muscle Shoals GREGG 
Sound Studio just down the road. ALLMAN 

It was at the latter that The Rolling Stones recorded You Gotta BETTYE 
Move, Brown Sugar and Wild Horses, and this month's feature on LAVETTE 
Sticky Fingers provided the initial impetus for us to compile this MOJO ro 


CD of Muscle Shoals nuggets. Sadly, however, You Gotta Move! has 
also turned out to be a memorial to one of the Muscle Shoals greats, 
drummer Roger Hawkins, who passed away on May 20. Rhythm pivot 
of The Swampers, the studio's imperturbably groovy house band, 
Hawkins played on multitudes of great records that crystallised the 
local sound, not least Wilson Pickett's Save Me. This compilation, 
encompassing 60 years of extraordinary Muscle Shoals music, is 


& MORE 





dedicated to his memory. 














7 8 
My Only True Friend Heart On A String You Left The Water . 
A by-product of Duane Allman'slink Another George Jackson co-write, Running You Better Move On 


with Fame is that he and brother 
Gregg's pre-Allmans band, Hour 
Glass, recorded there in 1968. Nearly 
50 years later, Gregg was back for 
the sessions that became his last LP, 
2017's Southern Blood. Mostly covers, 
but including this poignant new 
burner: “1 hope you're haunted by the 
music of my soul, when I’m gone.” 


best known from the version on 
Candi Staton's 1970 Fame debut, I’m 
Just A Prisoner. А more recent Fame 
graduate, Isbell grew up locally and 
met Swampers bass David Hood in 
his teens. Part of Drive-By Truckers 
with Hood's son Patterson, Isbell 
went solo in 2007: this crunchy take 
comes from 2011's Here We Rest. 





Written by Gregg Allman. Published by KOBALT 
MUSIC PUB AMERICA I 080 D DEM MUSIC ®&©2017 
Rounder Records. From Southern Blood (Rounder 
Records) www.rounder.com 





13 
Take Me Just As | Am 


You might know Dan Penn/Spooner 
Oldham's gem from Solomon Burke. 
But this 1969 version by the lesser- 


Written by George Jackson, Mickey Buckins. 
Published by 50.00% EMI Music Publishing 
50.0096 ®&©2019 Southeastern. From Here We 
Rest (Southeastern) 


14 


Love Is A Gamble 


Like his Malaco labelmate Johnnie 
Taylor, Inverness, Mississippi's 
James Milton Campbell Jr was an 


It's one hell of a demo. Visiting Fame 
in ‘66, Redding was asked by Rick Hall 
torun through this Dan Penn tune in 
preparation for Wilson Pickett's 
version that figured on 1967's The 
Wicked Pickett. Otis's take briefly 
surfaced as a bootleg 7-inch in the 
mid '70s, before official release in '87. 





Written by Wallace Daniel Pennington, Roe 
Erister Hall, Oscar Eugene Franck. Published by 
Screen Gems-EMI Music Publishing (BMI) / Irving 
Music, Inc, BMI ©1968 WEA International Inc. 
USAT20000310 Licensed courtesy of Warner 
Music UK Ltd. 





Muscle Shoals Malmo 
Express 

Finally, spotlight on a peerless house 
band: (above, from left) Jimmy 


Where it all began. Florence, 
Alabama local Arthur Alexander 
had one single under his belt when 
he entered the original Florence 
home of Fame in 1961 and cut his 
own country-soul beauty with Rick 
Hall. Fame's first hit (Number 24 in 
the US), it helped finance Hall's 
move to his more famous Muscle 
Shoals facility on Avalon Avenue. 
Note, too, a Rolling Stones cover on 
their 1964 self-titled EP. 





Written by Arthur Alexander. Screen Gems-EMI 


et ም mm 
* 


known Govan is delivered with R&B vet who found his way to Johnson (guitar), Roger Hawkins 4 
much more zip than Burke. Govan, Muscle Shoals Sound Studio laterin ^ (drums) David Hood (bass), Barry N 
sometimes called Little Otis, was life. Discovered by Ike Turner, Beckett (keys). From '705 sessions for $ 
discovered by George Jackson and signed to Sun and Stax, covered by an M.G.'s-style Swampers album ! 
recorded several singles for Fame in The Spencer Davis Group, an only released in 2018, hear what 

the late '60s and early '70s, without electric blues guitarist and vocalist Lynyrd Skynyrd meant when they 1 
ever getting a break. A major of considerable swagger, Love Is A sang: "Now Muscle Shoals has got 3 
neglected talent, it transpires, who Gamble can be found on 1994's I'm The Swampers/And they've been ፤ 


worked Memphis' Beale Street for 
the last 25 years of his life. 


A Gambler. Campbell died in 2005, 
just short of his 71st birthday. 





Written by Dan Penn, Spooner Oldham. Screen 
Gems-EMI 


Written by Milton Campbell. Peer Music IIl, 
Malaco music, Trice Pub 


known to pick a song or two/Lord, 
they get me off so much/They pick 
me up when I'm feeling blue..." 





Written by Roger Hawkins, Jimmy Johnson 


EARL ВСИ 
THE EARL SCRUGGS S REVUE 


EARL SCRUGGS 
I Saw Тһе Light With Some Help... etc 
/ Live! From Austin City Limits / 
Strike Anywhere / Bold And New 


BGOCD1444 














JOHNNY MATHIS 


People / The Impossible Dream / 
Love Theme From “Romeo And Juliet” 
/ Give Me Your Love For Christmas 


BGOCD1452 


THE BEAT GOES ON... 


THE IWY LEAGUE 


New releases from BGO Records йды 


For these and more great releases, 
visit our website at www.bgo-records.com 


JUICY LUCY 


Суусу 
а Васко GY 
@ mmm ЛУ 


JUICY LUCY 


Juicy Lucy 
Lie Back And Enjoy It 
Get A Whiff A This 
plus bonus tracks 


BGOCD1441 





FAS 


ALSO INCLUDES EP AND BONUS TRACKS 
DIGITALLY REMASTERED 


THE IVY LEAGUE 


This Is... / Sounds Of... / Tomorrow Is 
Another Day + EP and bonus tracks 


BGOCD1439 





38 SPECIAL 


Strength In Numbers 
Rock & Roll Strategy 


BGOCD1446 


JIMMY JAMES 
AND THE VAGABONDS 


The New Religion / London Swings / 
This Is / Open Up Your Soul + bonus tracks 


BGOCD1432 


All BGO Records new releases are available from Amazon and all good record shops or online at www.bgo-records.com 
For a free BGO Records text catalogue listing and order form, please email mike@bgo-records.com or call 01284 724406 


RECORDS 


| 
The Imperial Decade. 


Buy online at greatmagazines.co.uk/mojo-specials 


THE WORKS 


BGO Records, 7 St Andrews Street North, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP33 1TZ : Distributed in the UK by Proper Music 


AVAILABLE NOW! 


QUEEN 


Е at 
үу, " 
| / 
4 
| 


out July 29, 2021 









What music are you currently 
grooving to? 

I'm busy rehearsing so I'm listening to 
my own stuff. If I’m sitting about 
relaxing with friends l'Il play some- 
thing classical - Beethoven, Purcell, 
Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart, you name 
‘em, I'm gonna like ‘em. 


What, if push comes to shove, is 
your all-time favourite album? 

At the moment I'm really enjoying 
Kanye West's Jesus Is King, in his 
religious phase. It's a great album, but 
| wouldn't say any album was my 
favourite of all time. 


What was the first record you ever 
bought? And where did you buy it? 
| can't remember the order, but | got 
a Free LP and the first Led Zeppelin 
album, |] have been about 19. | loved 
Led Zeppelin, still do - great songs, 
fantastic playing, energy! But | can't 
remember [where from], | didn't go 
out buying records and | was quite 





Jacob Boll, 





Danny Elfman 


What music are you currently 
grooving to? 

Wow! What am | grooving to? That's 
50000 hard! I'm listening to a lot of 
heavy stuff. Tool's Fear Inoculum is 
high up on my list. For some reason 
l've returned to a lot of Portishead 
and Massive Attack from the past. 
But as I’m in the middle of writing a 
cello concerto I’m also listening to a 
lot of Shostakovich and Bartók 
classical works and then mix in some 
Moorish Music From Mauritania by 
Khalifa Ould Eide & Dimi Mint 
Abba and Sleepwalking Through The 
Mekong by Dengue Fever and that 











late coming to things. 


Joan Armatrading 


Which musician, other than your- 
self, have you ever wanted to be? 
| don't want to be anyone but Joan, 
thank you. | don't wanna be a lion, 

a tiger, a tree, I’m very happy being 

who | am. 


What do you sing in the shower? 


I don't. | don't sing around the house, 
unless I'm writing, seriously. 


What is your favourite Saturday 
night record? 

You're asking the wrong person 
because | probably wouldn't play 
music on a Saturday! 111 be watching 
the television, some comedy 
programme like Taskmaster or You've 
Been Framed. You see, from young, 
when | started writing, writing was it. 
Writing the words, trying to get the 
emotion and expression, and feeling, 
I spent a lot of time doing that. 


And your Sunday morning record? 
Maybe that Kanye record. 





Consequences is out now on BMG. 








e 


1,4 








DELIG 


TLIC с 


might be it for this week. It’s a mish- 
mosh and next week... who knows? 
A different brew. 


What, if push comes to shove, is 
your all-time favourite album? 
If push came to shove I'd have to 
choose David Bowie's Scary 
Monsters (And Super Creeps). 


What was the first record you ever 
bought? And where did you buy it? 
I'm not 100 per cent sure but it 
might have been Revolver from The 
Beatles. If that includes 7-inch sin- 
gles, I'd have to go way back to The 
Four Tops’ Reach Out I'll Be There. 

| haven't the foggiest idea what 
record store I'd have gone to when 

| was a kid. just hope | paid for it! 


Which musician, other than your- 
self, have you ever wanted to be? 
Oh God, that's the longest list ever. 
Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Prokofiev, 
Dmitri Shostakovich, Duke 
Ellington, Cab Calloway, Philip 
Glass, Miles Davis... shall | go on? 
John Lennon, John Coltrane, 
David Byrne, David Bowie, Jimi 
Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Kurt Weill, 
Kurt Cobain, Stéphane Grappelli, 
Steve Reich... this list can go on 
forever, so 111 stop here. 


What do you sing in the shower? 
Any Freddie Mercury song | can 
conjure up. 

What is your favourite Saturday 
night record? 

Radiohead's The King Of Limbs. 

And your Sunday morning record? 
Miles Davis's Round About Midnight. 


Big Mess is released this month on Anti-/ 
Epitaph. 








TO 





TO 





Faye Webster 


What music are you currently 
grooving to? 

I'm listening to Mei Ehara a lot right 
now, like a lot a lot. I love her music, 
the instrumentation and her 
melodies are so fun to me and I see 
myself in her sometimes. She's defi- 
nitely on repeat most of the time. 


What, if push comes to shove, is 
your all-time favourite album? 
Hannah Cohen, Welcome Home, | 
have listened to this album so much 
that | get sensory nostalgia from it. 
Certain songs make me smell certain 
things from where | was or what 

| was doing at the first time when 

| was listening to it. 


What was the first record you 
ever bought? And where did 
you buy it? 

Asleep At The Wheel, 70. All| 
remember is buying it with my 
family somewhere, maybe a spring 
break or something, when | was a 
kid. They were always one of my 
parents’ favourite bands so | guess 
it just got passed on to me. 


Which musician, other than your- 
self, have you ever wanted to be? 


Patti Smith probably. Her mind is so 





P Еу | 





1 


СЕ 


ING.. 





beautiful and | like how she just 
sits and reads or writes at random 
places like she isn't Patti Smith or 
something. That's what I’m trying 
to be like. 


What do you sing in the shower? 
My boyfriend's songs because it's 
the only time that | can do it without 
him hearing... 


What is your favourite Saturday 
night record? 

Soft Sounds From Another Planet by 
Japanese Breakfast. It's definitely 
a go-to for me and always puts me 
in a good mood. 

And your Sunday morning record? 
Blake Mills, Mutable Set. There's not 
a song on this record that's getting 
skipped. It's my favourite album to 
listen to, like to really listen to... it's 
so comforting and | find myself 
focusing on something different 
about the song every listen. 





1Кпом I'm Funny haha is released this 
month on Secretly Canadian. 


MOJO 9 








MOJO 


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contact 
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Thanks for their help with 
this issue: 
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Among this month's 
contributors: 

Martin Aston, John Aizlewood, 
Mark Blake, Mike Barnes, 
Glyn Brown, John Bungey, 
David Buckley, Keith Cameron, 
Stevie Chick, Andrew Collins, 
Andy Cowan, Bill DeMain, 
Tom Doyle, Daryl Easlea, Alison 
Fensterstock, David Fricke, Andy 
Fyfe, Pat Gilbert, David Hutcheon, 
Chris Ingham, Jim Irvin, Colin 
Irwin, David Katz, Dorian Lynskey, 
Andrew Male, James McNair, Andy 
Morris, Lucy O'Brien, Jennifer 
Otter Bickerdike, Andrew Perry, 
Jon Savage, Victoria Segal, David 
Sheppard, Michael Simmons, 
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Kieron Tyler, Charles Waring, Lois 
Wilson, Stephen Worthy.. 


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photographers: 
Cover: Alex Lake 
Alec Byrne, David Carol, 
Dean Chalkley, Henry Diltz, 
Lynn Goldsmith, Jim Herrington, 
Roger Kisby, Bud Lee, 
Gered Mankowitz, Wendy 
McDougall, David Montgomery, 
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10 MOJO 


Theories, 
rants, etc. 


MOJO welcomes correspondence for publication. 
E-mail to: mojoreaders@bauermedia.co.uk 





ON APRIL 7, FRED DELLAR SUBMITTED 


his crossword for MOJO, as he had done every month for over 20 years. It was, 
as ever, a small masterpiece of cunning, playfulness and immense musical 
wisdom: a place where Earl Scruggs and Earl Sweatshirt could share a clue, 
where Bob Lind, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Ramsey Lewis and Anthrax all had a part 
to play, and Dusty Springfield was always welcome. 

It has proved, though, to be Fred’s final crossword. Sadly, this most trusted 
and beloved of MOJO stalwarts passed away on May 15, a fortnight before his 
90th birthday. As so many of you will know, Fred has been a critical part of 
MOJO for most of our existence: curator of Time Machine, infallible fount of 
knowledge on the Ask Fred page, a thoughtful and generous journalist who 
always carried his learning lightly. Before MOJO, Fred was an equally invaluable 
presence in many other fine music mags, and we’ve detailed his full extraordi- 
nary career on page 113, where his crossword would normally reside. I first 
encountered him in the early 905 at NME, pottering discreetly among the photo 
files, researching his Fred Fact column. Music scholars can sometimes be intim- 
idating figures, but Fred was notable for his kindness and insight as well as his 
expertise. Early in my career, he intuited the music I might like and brought me 
a tape of David Ackles’ first album. He was, of course, uncannily correct. 

We'll miss Fred hugely, and we're sure you all will, too. But we also hope we've 
learned from him how to share our enthusiasms, how to pack every MOJO 
full of information about an eclectic world of music, articulated with an easy 
warmth that’s always inclusive, and never elitist. To honour Fred, we can aspire 
to nothing greater. 


JA — 


JOHN MULVEY, EDITOR 





of tape echo to create other-worldly soundscapes. 

A few weeks later, me, Frank, and one of the 
other bands that evening squeezed into my mum’s 
Ford Fiesta to spend a Saturday afternoon in Kevin’s 


Are you sure you’re playing 
with the right side? 


While the Ivy Rooms might have been the first gig 





My Bloody Valentine played with their name on the 
bill [as captioned in MOJO 331], it wasn’t their first 
gig. A mate of mine, Frank — I think, at the time, 
fancying himself the next Paul McGuinness — started 
a series of concerts in the basement of the North 
Star Hotel in Dublin earlier that year. The first 
night, the first band on was МВУ. It might have been 
nerves, but they didn't establish much eye contact 
with the largely punk audience, so my mate took 

a little bit of piss by placing the telephone directory 
at the toe of singer David Conway's forward 
winklepicker: shoegazing before there was shoegaze. 
As the nerd playing audio engineer for the evening, 

I remember being fascinated by Kevin Shields’ use 


parents' converted garage, recording a demo on his 
4-track cassette recorder. Prompted by Kevin, as I 
remember it, Frank even ended up adding a layer of 
mono-synth lines for a bit more texture in the mix. 
This remains my claim-to-fame anecdote, trotted 
out when mixing with rock cognoscenti. Heady days. 


Dave Hegarty, Tübingen, Germany 


Are you going to tell 
us who you work for? 


As a full-on MOJO reader since Issue 1, I now 
habitually expect your features to uncover deep back 
stories, and the McCartney/Ram article [MOJO 331] 


did not disappoint. Above all, I was impressed to 

see that Linda got at least a bit of a nod for urging 

a depressed Paul to record the Ram album. I expect 
there's even more to that story, and there have got 
be scores of similar stories about the heroic, devoted 
women behind the great men of music (hello Yoko!). 
Dear departed Fred Dellar (sending a tearful RIP 
from a friend and fan) would have jumped on such 

a theme. 


Morgan Fisher, Mott The Hoople 


You can't put a 
price on integrity 
I have just read the article on the Redskins [MOJO 
332], not before time as they have never gained 
the praise they're due, and surely they're more 
relevant than ever. I was lucky to have seen them a 
few times, though the only gigs I remember are York 
Racecourse and supporting The Clash on the Out 
Of Control tour in Brixton. They definitely sang like 
The Supremes! In 2019, I had Billy Bragg sign one 
of his books and asked him to write “stop, strike, 
unionise" as the dedication. I’m a nurse, it felt 
appropriate. Billy said, *The Redskins, great band, 
bloody difficult to tour with." 

Dave Portch, Exeter 


The first thing you should 
know about us is that we 
have people everywhere 


Like many other subscribers I’ve been making do 
with curating my record collection during lockdown 
whilst waiting for the return of live music. Then in 
MOJO 332’s letters I saw a tribute to Poco’s Rusty 
Young, in which Clive Goodyer recalled going to 
Birmingham Hippodrome with his older brother in 
1975 to see America and Poco, which coincidentally 
was my first ever gig. Not having older siblings, and 
having friends only into the usual Sab/Zep/ELP/ 
Yes, that Tuesday night after school I = the bus 
into town on my own and thus started a live musical 
odyssey, although I had to wait another few months 
until seeing a past-their-best Flying Burrito Brothers 
at the Town Hall. 

Sleater-Kinney, The Murder Capital and 
Elvis Costello were the last three gigs I went to, 
and perhaps together with Poco they are a good 
representation of the wide range of artists that 
MOJO does a great job of keeping us all in touch 
with. I've got a couple of dozen rearranged gigs 
pencilled in for the autumn so let's hope that they 
can finally go ahead. See you at the rock show. 


Ashley Jones, North Wales 


You just cost me quite 
a bit of money, darling 


Retirement and Covid have given me time to play 
and purchase more records. MOJO 329 introduced 
me to Lonnie Holley and I was mesmerised with his 


story. Thanks to that, Гуе added his Just Before Music 
and National Freedom LPs to my collection. Thank 
you, MOJO for bringing to light so many artists who 
deserve wider recognition. 

Michael Carson, Tucson Arizona 


His MI6 file says he's 


difficult to control 
Your Time Machine piece [MOJO 331] referred to 


"thrusting young record executive" Richard Branson 
and was a reminder that Branson's success with 
Mike Oldfield's opus was, effectively, the launch 
pad of his Virgin empire and billionaire status. 
In the 1990s, while working at BBC Radio Derby, 
I interviewed Derby-born Kevin Coyne and we 
eventually touched on his early years at Virgin. Kevin 
told me that shortly after being. signed by Virgin, he 
was asked to meet Branson on his house-boat. He 
told Kevin that he had concerns about the Tubular 
Bells recordings going on at Oxford Manor. *He was 
worried about the fact that it was an all-instrumental 
album,” recalled Kevin. “He said ‘I don't think this 
is going to work', and so he asked me to go up to 
the Manor to see if I could put some lyrics to it. So 
I trooped off to Oxford to meet this Oldfield fellow 
and to listen to his album. I hated it. I walked away 
thinking, I want nothing to do with this. Good job, 
really. Look how Tübular Bells turned out." Kevin 
always struck me as a guy of utter sincerity. Maybe 
Mike Oldfield recalls this episode? 

Ashley Franklin, Milford, Derbyshire 


Regimes change once 


a week around here 
Loved your Paul Weller edition [MOJO 331]. Made 


me regret even more selling my original Jam LPs 
when CDs arrived, so it got me thinking: Weller 

has been amazingly consistent over many years. I 
went back to Stanley Road and wonde red where it 
featured in MOJO's Albums of 1995... I checked. 
It didn't. How about a self-reflective feature on the 
best albums that never made the MOJO Top 50 over 
the years? Could dig out some real gems. Thanks, as 
ever, for being amazing. 


Roger Bratchell 


You only have one 
shot. Make it count. 


I was very pleased to see Joni on the cover of MOJO 
332 — and enjoyed your excellent 50th Anniversary 
celebration of Blue, "which is surely one of the most 
truly beautiful albums ever recorded. 1971 does 
appear to be a good vintage, with other classics such 
as Who's Next, Surf 5 Up, Led Zeppelin IV and Hunky 
Dory. And whilst we're getting all nostalgic, the 

letter quotes this month appear to be from Almost 
Famous... and there's a great soundtrack to the early 


"70s! Keep up the great work. 
Stephen Gregory, Altrincham 





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Regulated 





MOJO 11 





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The Fifth Dimension ። Abbey Lincoln « 





The Edwin Hawkins Singers * George Kirby * 


Olatunji * Max Roach / June 29 


Mahalia Jackson • The Staple Singers * 
Herman Stevens & The Voices of Faith • 
Reverend Jesse Jackson & the Operation 


Breodbosket Band / July 13 


Stevie Wonder * Dovid Ruffin » Chuck Jackson * 


Gladys Knight & the Pips * 
Lou Parks Dancers / July 20 
Mongo Santamaria « Ray Barretto * 


Cal Tjader * Herbie Mann * Harlem Festival 





Calypso Band / July 27 


Nina Simone = B. B. King * Hugh Mosakela * 


Harlem Festival Jazz Band / Aug. v 


Miss Harlem Pageant = Lo Rocque Bey & Co. * 


Listen My Brothers & Co. / Aug. 24 


5529 


1969 





SUNDAYS 3 PM. МТ. MORRIS PARK + 


HEN PRODUCERS Robert 

Fyvolent and David Dinerstein 

approached Ahmir ‘Questlove’ 
Thompson in 2017 to discuss the 1969 
Harlem Cultural Festival, he found it hard 
to believe that he had never heard of an 


ADMISSION FREE event which starred Stevie Wonder, Nina 


Simone, Gladys Knight and Sly And The 
Family Stone, among others. 

B thought they were try ing to pull a fast one on 
те, есаб the Roots druminer, Tonight Show 
bandleader and walking enc yclopaedia of music. 

“I was like, "There's no way you're telling me that 
300,000 people v witnessed this and not one person 
knows this stor y" 

Having only ‘directed one music video, he then 
deliber rated уу hether he could take on the responsibility 
of turning those 40 reels of forgotten black history 
into a movie. 

“I have what it takes to sit in the audience and tell 
my date, Ah, they got that wrong. But do I have what 
it takes to tell the story? ?" he says. "You've got one 
chance to really get itr ight. I made the дс ision Fo 
create the film "that I would actually want to see." That 
film is Summer Of Soul (...Or, W hen The Revolution 
Could Not Be Televised), which has already won the 
Grand Jury prize and Audience 
award at Sundance. 

The festival took place in Mount 
Morris Park over six weekends in the 
summer of Woodstock and Apollo 

1. The brainchild of a formidable 
ко named Tony Lawrence 
(*sort of like the black Bill Graham," 
says Questlove), it had the bac king of 
New York's liberal mayor John 
Lindsay, who thought it would 
soothe race relations the year after 
Martin Luther King’s murder. 


Rage In Harlem 


Producer Hal Tulchin filmed the first five weekends 
(in week six the film crew was filming the pilot of 
Sesame Street) and pitched it to broadcasters as “Black 
Woodstock", but nobody would bite. Just before the 
launch of Soul Train and the blaxploitation boom, 
blackness was barely an idea, let alone a market. 
Woodstock, Monterey and Wattstax live on through 
film but Harlem went unseen and манин ጫቸ ለ 

*Mainstream dollars meant white dollars," 

Questlove says. “Soul Train was the paradigm shift 
for black entertainment but this film should have 
been first out of the gate." 

Questlove ran the footage on a constant loop for 
months, looking for *eoosebump moments", but what 
makes Summer Of Soul extraordinary is the use of 
archive clips and talking heads to connect the music to 
the times: the Black Panthers, the heroin epidemic, 
Afrocentrism, the apartheid struggle, and even the 
moon landing, which coincided with Wonder's set and 
left festiv. algoer s refreshingly unimpr 

“It was such a pivotal year," Questlove says. “Black 


sed. 





people were embracing the parts of ourse lves that we 
were formerly ashamed of. The historian in me wanted 
to present this in the proper context. The circumstances 
that caused this concert to happen in the first place are 
happening to us in real time right now. Even if you 


” 


don’t relate to the music, you're > relating to the struggle. 
It's hard to imagine any viewer not relating to 

Wonder's giddy drum solo, Simone's hair-r raising call 

for кене кан or Mahalia Jackson's and Mavis Staples' 
staggering gospel tribute to Dr King. 
Questlove says that he came to love 
camera number four, which captured 
scenes of delight and self-expression 
in the crowd that were every bit as 
joyful as what was happening on 
stage. Thanks to Summer Of Soul, 
they too are finally part of the 
historical record. 


Ф 
9 





chlig 


Sear 


Dorian Lynskey 
Summer Of Soul (...Or, When The 
Revolution Could Not Be Televised) is 


released in theatres and on Hulu on July 2. $ 





= 
5 
< 





Questlove (above) 
and Summer Of Soul 
goosebump moments 
with Sly Stone (far left) 
The 5th Dimension and 
the ecstatic audience; 
(inset top) the bill, 

а missing late addition 
Sly’s June 29 show. 





Barry Feinstein, Josh Giroux 


A mind can blow those 
clouds away: (clockwise from 
n) George Harrison in 
1970; Dhani at high altitude; 

the ultra-deluxe All Things 
Must Pass; the box’s figurine 
and laser-scanned gnomes. 


’S ALL 


THINGS MUST PASS, GOES 
UBER-DELUXE (WITH GNOMES) 


ACK IN JANUARY 2001, only 10 

months before his death, George 

Harrison ехрге: 55е d his ongoing 
dissatisfaction with the “big production" of 
All Things Must Pass in the linernotes for the 
album’s 30th anniversary reissue: “It was 
difficult to resist remixing every track,” 
he noted. Now, for the upcoming 50th 
anniversary motherlode edition of his already 
expansive 1970 album (pandemic-delayed 
and due in August), some tasteful retrofitting 
has been applied. 

“My dad was not a fan of reverb,” Dhani 

Harrison tells MOJO, on the phone from 
his family’s Friar Park estate in Henley-on- 
Thames, explaining that the new, from-the- 
ground-up mixes of the landmark triple 
album involved painstaking audio restoration 
and a foregrounding of his father’s vocals, 
somewhat stripping back Phil Spector’s layers 
of effects. “It’s like restoring a painting,” 
Harrison adds. “We're so careful. Every stage 
has been A/B’ed [comparing the new and 
earlier versions] along with the original. 
When you hear it, it’s just mindblowing." 
The new Super Deluxe All Things Must 





Pass comprises 70 tracks over five CDs or 
eight LPs, reclaiming the solo acoustic demos 
from the hands of the bootleggers. Dhani 
recalls his dad having a significant conversa- 
tion with Bob Dylan regarding outtake 
. М n . jis 

curation: “I remember him 
talking back in the '90s to Bob 
and say ing, "You've just got to 
release all your bootlegs. Make 
it sound great and own it. Take 
it back. We wanted to make it 
so good that there's no way you 
could ever want to bootleg 
these ever again." 

From the 30 included demos 
(26 previously unreleased), 
Dhani singles out the whimsical 
groover Cosmic Empire, 
= . 
along with the man- 

5 

tra-like Dehra Dun, 

while other highlights 
тпл 

include a different 

version of Sour 

Milk Sea from 

the Esher sketch 

for The White 



















Album and a Sun Records-style slapback 
rocker titled Going Down To Golders Green. 

Harrison and engineer Paul Hicks (also 
responsible for recent sonic restorations for 
The Beatles, the Lennon estate and The 
Rolling Stones) together mixed a staggering 
110 tracks, before making the final selection: 
Of what Dhani calls the preliminary “small 
band” versions of ATMP songs (featuring 
Ringo on drums and Klaus Voormann on 
b gd he admits that the mixing of an 
alternate I'd Have You Any time was an 
affecting moment. 

“It broke my heart,” he says. “I just 
started sobbing. Paul looked at me and said, 
*OK, so we're doing it then.’ There was no 
question as to whether or not this was the 
right way to go because it’s just so powerful. 
Ultimately, everything had to be emotional.” 

Meanwhile, an Uber Deluxe Edition of 
the album, limited to 3,000, will be housed 
in a wooden crate along with Rudraksha 
prayer beads, a seven-inch-tall 
figurine of George and 
!/isth-scale laser-scanned 
gnomes as featured on the 
original cover, and a bookmark 
cut from a pine tree on the 
Harrison estate. 

*You actually g get a piece 
of Friar Park histor y," Dhani 
enthuses of the crate edition, 
modelled on a Victorian ale 
chest. “I wanted it to be 
like a time capsule. 

It looks like it's lasted 
100 years and will last 
another 100 years." 

Tom Doyle 


All Things Must Pass 50th 
Anniversary Edition will be 





available in various formats via 


Capitol/UMe on A ugust 6. 


GIMME FIVE... MUSICAL CASH-INS 


The iue Scene 





Marcel Rodd's attitude- 
over-budget label provides 
campery and naffness galore. 
The Good Earth later birthed 
Mungo Jerry, but calling the 
lasttune Unwashed, Unwant- 
ed wastempting fate. 








Freakbeats," naughty Genesis 
P-Orridge and Richard Norris 
presenttheir idea of acid 
house (trippy voice samples, 
funky breakbeats) without, it 
seems, having heard any 
actual acid house. 





3 version ofthe 
TVtheme sung 
by ex-Cricklewood Palais star 
DickJames was actually by 
Albertos Y Lost Trios Paranoias 
singing in questionable 
accents. John Peel was a fan. 





The Good Earth Various The Charlie Leda 

Swinging London «The Tal Parkas 'elcome Tc 

(SAGA, 1968) (CASTALIA RECORDINGS, 1988) The Ballad (METRONOME, 1978) 
Before hippy ፳ Hedgingits He зере There were 
wigs in Woolies, [3 bets with the (PARANOID PLASTICS, 1980) f$ many disco 
abilious IHR subtitle Complete with | cash-in 
Carnaby Street m "Original UK е i bogus 2-Tone መጋ Wil records, but 
knock-off on Acid Dance sleeve,this ska how many 


were made by ex-Tangerine 
Dreamer Peter Baumann, 
undercover and under the 
influence of Donna Summer 
and Giorgio Moroder It has 
its period appeal, but ennui 
sets in with Caroussel. 





(0 UMBIA, 1967) 
p= 


LSD-ploitation 
or pre-cogni- 
tion? Rusty 
Evans, who 
was also 
behind '66's Psychedelic 
Moods by The Deep, started 
outasarockabilly but by the 
Summer of Love was turned 
on to fuzz, weird effects and 
titles like Mind Bender. 
Beware contact highs. 











14 MOJO 


S.J.M. CONCERTS PRESENTS 


— 
Мапе; 
The Ladykillers Tour 


With Very Fragrant Guests 


—SQUEEZE— 


DECEMBER 2021 


Thu 02 ABERDEEN P&J Arena 
Fri 03 GLASGOW The SSE Hydro 


Sat 11 MANCHESTER AO Arena 
Mon 13 CARDIFF Motorpoint Arena 
በቸ ል. ፲ 14 NOTTINGHAM Motorpoint Arena 
Thu 16 NEWCASTLE Utilita Arena 
BOURNEMOUTH В..С Fri 17 BIRMINGHAM Utilita Arena 


| лл BRIGHTON Centre Sat 18 LONDON The O2 Arena 
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15 Nottingham - Royal Concert Hall 13 Inverness - Ironworks 


September 2021 


14 Perth - Concert Hall 

В 15 Dunoon - Queens Hall 

18 York - Barbican. 16 Oban - Corran Halls 

20 Manchester - Bridgewater Hall 18 Birmingham - Symphony Hall 
21 Sheffield - City Hall 19 Southampton - Guildhall 

22 Newcastle - O2 City Hall 20 London - Palladium 


17 Blackpool - Opera House 


December 2021 


19 еш Barrowland* 
20 еш Barrowland 


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21 Glasgow - Barrowland 


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err 


- 
| 
1907227 


э-э, 


>...” 





| Sore _ 


Title: Dark Matters 
Due:September 
Songs: If 
Something's Gonna 
Kill Me (It Might As 
Well Be Love) / And 
If YouShould See 
Dave... /TheLines/ 
Payday / The Last 
Men On The Moon / 
White Stallion 

The Buzz: “| was 
wiped out fora 










couple of weeks 

after Dave died but 

thenitwas, we've 

got this body of work 

_ Still blowing a storm: and we'vegotto 

The Stranglers' JJ complete it. So we 
Burnel stays in tune; did. thinkit'llbea 
(inset) the late goodtestamentto 
Dave Greenfield. himandThe 


Stranglers.” JJ Burnel 


SAY FARE- 


WELL TO DAVE GREENFIELD 
WITH DARK MATTERS 


66 C AN YOU hear me?" says Stranglers 
bassist JJ Burnel from his home in 
the south of France. “I’m outside 

and the mistral is blowing..." He should be 

in the UK to put the finishing touches to 

The Stranglers’ 18th LP Dark Matters, but a 

positive coronavirus test forced a U-turn en 

route to the ferry in early May. “I had no 
symptoms,” he says. “Was it a false positive? 

Was | immune? Or just god-like, ha ha!” 

Asis common in The Stranglers’ world, 
levity touches on more serious matters. Dave 


Greenfield, the group's keyboardist since 
1975, played on eight of the 11 songs before 
succumbing to Covid on May 3, 2020. 

The recording sessions, which started in 
late 2018 and continued over the next six 
months, were for the band’s first album since 
2012's Giants. They worked at Charlton Farm, 
their HQ of 20 years near Bath, Somerset, 
with producer and Wurzels alumnus Louie 
Nicastro. “We started writing some of the 
material nearly 10 years ago,” says JJ. "I had 
about 300 ideas. In the last three or four years 










we started trying to make sense of 
them. We used to really enjoy meeting 
up and rehearsing late throughout the 
night. We were a band who enjoyed 
each other's company. 

^Dave'd come in with his little 
bag and get very drunk and just play,” he 
continues, "but he was entirely sober on 
thefinal recordings. He was an exceptional 
musician. When you've known and loved 
someone for 45 years... | think we had four 
rows in that time. | mean, he was really out 
there, and recently we realised why that was, 
he was high functioning Asperger's. Of 
course, none of us knew, when we said 
goodbye to him, it would be the last time. 

But we managed to get him in there, before 
he broke on through to the other side." 

Though he was “wiped out" when 
Greenfield passed, finishing the record was, 
he says, “the first priority, and if it’s the last 
one, so be it.” The final three tracks made 
without Greenfield include lead track And If 
You Should See Dave..., which was recorded 
remotely between Charlton Farm, southern 
France and guitarist/co-vocalist Baz Warne's 
home in Wearside. A retro-West Coast 
farewell, its line "this is where your solo 
would go" is intensely poignant. 

MOJO also asks after retired Stranglers 
drummer Jet Black. "Jet's got an opinion on 
everything we do, and we speak often," says 
JJ. "He's still in the background - éminence 
grise, as we say in France, he he!" 

Elsewhere, the album shows a broad 
variety of styles, from classic Stranglers growl 
to synth pop and dance rock: subjects touch 
upon the Arab Spring, dreams of space, 
nemesis and retribution, and more. "I don't 
just want to talk about love and arses," says JJ. 

But will this be the last Stranglers album? 
“I'm not so sure,” says the man who still has 
to record one of the LP's tracks in French and 
Japanese. "I'm on a bit of a creative roll, and 
we've still got a lot to prove to ourselves. 

But we can't wait another 10 years." 

They'll also be getting back on the road, 
having recruited an as-yet unnamed new 
keysman from a crack Stranglers tribute act. 
"He's an absolute disciple of Dave, so he'll be 
note perfect," says JJ. "We'll be playing alot of 
the pieces Dave embellished and elevated. It's 
afucking big empty space there, but, yeah..." 
lan Harrison 












...on receiving the eighth 
Woody Guthrie Prize in May, 


spoke of his debt to the 

folk giant and revealed, 

"We have a record com- 

ing out soon that's set 

largely in the West” 

... beats аге rollin” say 

i (right) of 

theirnewLP ...Ronald 

Isley has been working with 
Е. It's expected to be part of 








LING Dre's long-awaited concept epic 
Detox, which was first announced on 
2002 and was cancelled before 


the last year anda half,” 
guitarist Billy Duffy told the 
Tone-Talk guitar channel. “The 


rising again; other voices 
that've been linked to the 


project include Snoop Pistol Paul Cook's 


Dogg, Eminem and group - 
Jay-Z... are ...Duffy's 
continuing to work with old pal 


Tom Dalgety on their hasalso suggested he's 
newLP."We've been working on his fourth LP 
digging away at that for 5 





philosophy in the Cult camp really is 
about quality not quantity... we're 
well, well into the process." He 
added he'd also played on 
new album SNAFU by Sex 


representative could neither 
confirm nor deny that their new 
album will feature disco influences... 










V 's new sleep-themed 

LP Somnia arrives in September, 

investigating "sleepless 

paranoia, strange 
encounters, fever dreams 
and meditation"... 

& Björn Ulvaeus told 
Melbourne's Herald 
Sun that (left) 
would definitely release 

five new songs this year. 

“The four of us stand in the 
studio for the first time in 40 

years and there's just something in 
knowing what we've been through...” 











16 MOJO 


Getty (4) 


KILIMANJARO PRESENTS 


BIG BIG TRAIN 


THE COMMON GROUND TOUR 


4 


MARCH 2022 
TUE 15 YORK BARBICAN 
WED 16 CAMBRIDGE CORN EXCHANGE 
FRI 18 BIRMINGHAM SYMPHONY HALL 
SAT 19 BATH FORUM 
MON 21 GLASGOW ROYAL CONCERT HALL 
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the light at the end 
of the tunnel tour 


WED 1 ZARDIFF ST DAV D'S RALL 
THU 18 MANCHEST IDGEWATER HALL 
———бАТ-20.САМВВ SOLD OUT N EXCHANGE ~ 
SUN 21 BIRMINGHAM SYMPHONY HALL 
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SAT 27 LONDON EVENTIM APOLLO HAMMERSMITH 


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A KIUMANJARO & KNOWMOREPROMOTIONS PRESENTATION 


STEVE HACKETT 
GENESIS REVISITED 


\ 


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Lll, 
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SECONDS OUT + MORE! УК 2021 TOUR 


SEPTEMBER 2021 

10 LEICESTER DE MONTFORT HALL 
LIVERSOLD OUTHILHARMONIC 
STOKE VICTORIA HALL 
BIRMINGHAM SYMPHONY HALL 
CAMBRIDGE CORN EXCHANGE 
CARDSOLD OUT)AVID'S HALL 
BASINSOLD OUTE THE ANVIL 
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LONDON PALLADIUM 
MANCHESTER O, APOLLO 
EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE 
GLASGOW ROYAL CONCERT HALL 
DUNDEE CAIRD HALL 
SCUNTHORPE THE BATHS HALL 


OCTOBER 2021 
BRADFORD ST GEORGE'S HALL 
NOTTINGHAM ROYAL CONCERT HALL 
CROYDON FAIRFIELD HALLS 
GUILUDSOLD OUT; LIVE 
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ШАУ ЧЕЧ УЧ скег.со:ик | 





ROCK'N'ROLL 


= 
9 
E 
9 


v 
= 


ይ ላኡ 


The 


protest 


Ira 





regularly imbued with a sense of 

melancholia, MOJO finds Jackson 
Browne to be remarkably chirpy, recalling a 
London promotional visit in another century 
when publicist Derek Taylor dragged him in 
to watch a sweary Sex Pistols rampaging at Bill 
Grundy on live TV. “Pretty funny," he says, 
“а harbinger of things to come." Originally 
emerging as the archetypal voice of California 
in tandem with the Eagles, these days he's also 
an ecological campaigner and political activist 
who sued the Republican Party (and won) 
when John McCain used his song Running 
On Empty in his 2008 presidential bid. 


Е OR SOMEONE whose music is 


The title track of your new album, Downhill 
From Everywhere, offers a depressed view 
of the world. 


How could you not have а depressed view of 
the world? The title resonates with the world 
generally, but it’s also about the health of the 
ocean, which is downhill from everywhere 
and is the repository of all 

humanity’s activities. 


When did you start taking 
a stand on politics? Your 
earlier work was more 
personal than political. 


| was always drawn to political 
activism. | grew ир in the civil 
rights era. | demonstrated and 
was active as a teenager and 
was involved before | was 
ableto write anything 
political. But, as my friend 


18 MOJO 














Jackson Browne, not 
\ a pretender: “1 knew 
1 nothing before, | 
9 know nothing now." 
Jackson's shading to the rest of the record. 
Top 5 tracks Songs take on resonances of things 
DR Gaye that have happened since they've 
415 Going On j i 
Steven Van Zandt says, what's more (ШҮ ር WIEN, The Pretenaerisnot 
personal than your political? 2 The Beach Boys about my wife's suicide, but songs 
God Only Knows l'd written before mysteriously 
You lived through some crazy Кз ны became more about that. | wrote 
times of course -all the excesses ЖЕДЕ, For A Dancer for someone else who 
of'70sLA... (COLUMBIA, 1965) died and that was on the album 
Marc Cohn Ql. , 
Do people no longer take drugs ог NCE E before The Pretender [1974 s Late For 
get caught up in excess? There is 5 Little Feat Rock The Sky}. wrote it living ina house 
nothing more excessive than And Roll Doctor with her [Phyllis Major] and our child 
celebrity life in the USA. It did seem TORT and gradually the song became 





to me that was to be avoided апа! 

tried to give fame a wide berth. The degree 
materialism has prevailed seems to have 
vanquished higher ideals. There's no place 
you can escape what's happening in the 
ecological and political realms, symbolised 
by the golden toilet at Trump Towers. Not 
that much has changed since the '60s and 
"705, but all through history people have tried 
to create social change. It's just that now, 
time is running out. 


Do you look back on your work with 
satisfaction? 


| reflect more on the low points! | made a lot of 
mistakes, but life is for learning. There was a 


period of about 10 years when | was exhausted. 


| thought | was full of energy... 
| was certainly full of cocaine. 


You’ve always worn your 
heart on your sleeve in 
song. What was the impact 
on you when your wife 
[model Phyllis Major] 

died in 1976? 


It happened in the middle of 
making The Pretender. | 
stopped for a while. | finished 
Sleep’s Dark And Silent Gate 
after she died, and it gave 


about her. That's how songs work. 
They migrate into other parts of your life and 
other experiences. Someone said they played 
[1993's] Sky Blue And Black at their wedding, 
they said "that's our song”. I said "Really?" It's a 
break-up song. People hear what they want to. 


You had quite a feud with Joni Mitchell 
after your wife died - did you ever bury 
thehatchet? 


No! 


Whathave youlearned? 


That life is longer than you think it is and is full 
of surprises. | basically know nothing. | knew 
nothing before and І know nothing now. 

I started to write a song with Waddy Wachtel 
called Don't Know Nothing No More, Didn't 
Know Nothing Before... but we didn't finish it. 


Tellus something you've nevertold an 
interviewer before... 


There's alot of things | wish | had not told an 
interviewer before! | keep buying basses, but 
| don't play bass. | don't know what that's 
about. I've got some really beautiful basses, 
lots of them, but! don't play them. | don't 
know what I'm doing with them. 

Colin Irwin 





Downhill From Everywhere is out on July 23 on 
Inside Recordings. 


REVEALED! 'S 
SANSKRIT-VIA-MOTOWN 
SOLO WURLITZER OPUS 


UT NEXT MONTH, Alice 

Coltrane's Kirtan: Turiya Sings 

captures the godmother of spiritual 
jazz at the peak of her practice. Originally a 
private press cassette, elements of it were 
heard on The Ecstatic Music Of Alice Coltrane 
Turiyasangitananda, the superb 2017 Luaka 
Bop comp which won new legions of admirers 
and was MOJO's Reissue Of The Year. But this 
edition is something rarer still, and captures 
the Detroit jazz innovator's unadorned 





ultimately won out. *This is what you heard 
at the ashram,” says Ravi. “My mother 
leading the congregation, who would sing 
along too.” 

The master tapes were discovered when 
Coltrane came out of semi-retirement in 
2004 to work with Ravi on her final album, 
Translinear Light. “When I heard them, I was 
blown away. I started speaking to Universal 
about releasing it immediately,” he says. 
Their power was undimmed when Raviand 
engineer Steve Genewick finally began 
mixing 17 years later: “As soon as I heard my 
mother’s voice coming through in such an 
immediate way, I Ы to compose myself. It 





Ithinkit was about'63. | was 
11.1 was already playing 
guitar at home [іп Indianap- 
olis], already finger-poppin' 
and grooving. My elder 
brother had a set of bongos, 
I'd beat on those, and pots and pans, 
driving my mother crazy. Then | heard 
Fingertips on the radio. It started with 
the MC bringing him out, calling him a 
12-year-old genius, and the rhythm 
started. | think Stevie starts playing 
bongos, then harmonica. It's a minute 
before he starts singing. Man, it seemed 
like it went on forever. The recording 
was live, and I'd never heard anything that 
exciting, or someone so talented do so 
many things in the course of how many 
minutes it was! It had everything that I 
think music brings to the table, the 
excitement - how ittakes you to another 
place and elevates you beyond belief. His 
talent was everywhere. thought, | don't 
know how you do that, but I'd love to 
know! | wanted to be a 12-year-old genius. 
He certainly was. So, | went downtown to 
buy the record. | fancied myself having 
decent rhythm, when І heard it, it was 
like it was all right to be finger-poppin’, 
let's rock, non-stop. In 6th grade we 
were putting bands together, playing 
songs of the day, but | never remember 
being able to pull off Fingertips. 
Another record changed my life, and 





original passes for the album: just her 
Wurlitzer and voice, put down live in one take. 
“н goes back to the sessions she played for 
her students each Sunday," says producer 
Ravi Coltrane, her son, saxophonist and 
curator, "when the Wurlitzer became her 


was overw helming to hear the sound of her 
voice so clearly, as if she was in the room." 

How much of it goes back to her roots 
playing organ in the Mount Olive Baptist 
Church? “When I’ve played it to friends, the 
first thing they hear is the gospel,” says Ravi. 
“It’s the sound of Detroit, you can hear 
Motown in its harmonies.” 

For all its meditative heft, he admits 


primary voice.” 

Coltrane’s spirituality helped her 
overcome the trauma of losing her husband, 
bebop sax god John Coltrane, in 1967. A 
single mother with four children, she sought 
guidance from Swami Satchidananda (the 
Hindu guru who opened Woodstock), took 
on the name Turiyasangitananda (“the 
transcendental lord’s highest song of bliss”) 
and began a voyage beyond 
jazz with 1971’s harp-laced 
Journey In Satchidananda. 

After regular pilgrimages 
to India, Coltrane estab- 


curating his parents’ catalogues is a process 
that has to be carefully weighed: “I’m always 
excited to hear an unre- 
leased recording, But with 
that excitement comes the 
responsibility of honouring 
my parents’ legacies with 
dignity.” The good news is 
“the те ’s plenty of incredible 
music" in the can, much of 


lished her own ashram, 
the Vedantic Centre, in 
California in 1975, where 


it's hard to pick between them: Dylan's 
Like A Rolling Stone. It was 1965, | was 
just post-puberty, and | remember being 
in the car. My mother parked outside the 
drug store and wentin, and Like A 
Rolling Stone cameon the radio, апа! 
remember felt so changed Ithought my 
mother wouldn't recognise me. | was 
convinced | was now a different person. 
He was singing, "How does it feel?” Апа! 
was going, “I know! I know how it feels!" 
Whatever it was, | don't know. He rewrote 


she adapted Sanskrit 
bhajans (Indian hymns) 

to her original melodies. 
Initially apprehensive about 
releasing the songs without 
the str ings and sy athe "sizers 
she later added — almost the 
opposite scenario to when 
Alice added overdubs to 
her husband's posthumous 
album Infinity in 1972 — the 
purity of the recordings 





it truffled out by Japanese 
mega-fan and super-sleuth 
Yushiro Fujioka. Next, in 
autumn, is a John Coltrane 
Quartet live album recorded 
in the same week as his 
1965 Pharoah Sanders 
collaboration, Live In Seattle. 
“John sounds amazing on 
it," beams Ravi. *They're 
playing material from A Love 
Supreme and it has real 


songwriting. Thosetwo records, man. historic value. 


Astoldto lan Harrison Andy Cowan 








Kirtan: Turiya Sings is released 


John Hiatt with The Jerry Douglas Band's 
July 16 on Impulse! 


Leftover Feelings is out now on New West. 


David McClister, Rederns/Frans Schellekens, Getty 








LITTLE zx 


STEVIE WONDER 


THE 12 YEAR OLD 








From her to eternity: (right) 
Alice Coltrane performing 
in 1987 and (above) with 
son Ravi in 2004. 



















Getty 


Feline all right: Ellen 
Mcllwaine and friend, 


1972; (below) Ellen today 
with her school bus. 


HENDRIX FAVE 

» STILL 
BLAZING UP THE 
BOTTLENECK BLUES 


N 1966, BLUES guitarist Ellen McIlwaine 

got the biggest gig of her life. Two sets per 

night, six nights a week, for six months, at 
New York’s Cafe Au Go Go — all for a flat fee 
of $1.50 a night. “That was when I met Jimi 
Hendrix for the first time,” she remembers 
of that far-off Greenwich Village residency. 
“He was a gentle, brilliant accompanist and 
a great friend; like an older brother." 

The 21-year-old with the pre-Raphaelite 
look and the Guild acoustic had a globetrot- 
ting backstory. Born in Nashville but adopted 
at five weeks old, she was raised by mission- 
aries in Kobe, Japan. Discovering the 
American Forces Network, she fell hard for 
the likes of Fats Domino and Professor 
Longhair. Hendrix's influence, meanwhile, 
was heard on her 1968 studio debut fronting 
blues rock outfit Fear Itself, a group she 
formed then disbanded after that sole 
long-player, the departure of one bassist and 
the death of his replacement. 

For 1972's Bonnie-Raitt-via-Betty-Carter 


20 MOJO 


solo long-player, Honky 

Tonk! Angel, she decided 
to go all out. It's a 
maximalist maelstrom: 
intricate, 
deeply funky, with the 
occasional gnarled psych 
freakout, scat digression 
and hillbilly yodel thrown 
in. Sadly, her record 
company were less 
enthusiastic about 
her versatility. 

“It’s always been 

a hindrance as well 
as an asset to be 


instinctive, 


completely origi nal,” 
McIlwaine explains. 
“Critics don’t know 
what to compare me 
to. I played a few gigs 
in Pennsylvania with 
Tom Waits — we both 
didn’t fit into any 
convenient box.” 

After her three 
solo LPs of lovelorn 
defiance failed to take 
off, her record compa- 
ny took the unusual 
step of preventing 
her playing guitar on 
her own album. 

*[ was told I didn't 
‘have the chops" 
she says. “Every night 








I rocked my acoustic and cried in the 
apartment hotel they put me up in.” 

In retaliation, McIlwaine set off alone, 
recording The Real Ellen McIlwaine with the 
Ville Émard Blues Band in Montreal, playi ing 
with her hero Jack Bruce and moving to 

Calgary. She created soundtracks to plays 
and films (including 1999 environmental 
doc umentary Poc ket Desert: Confessions 
Of A Snake Killer) and gigged relentlessly, 
sleeping in her minivan to save money. 

Thanks in part to an excellent 1995 
reissue on Stony Plain Recordings, she 
was sampled by Fatboy Slim on 1996% 
Song ForL indy, and became a rare groove 
favourite with the likes of 
Gilles Peterson and David 
Holmes. Still a cult prospect 
(*No interest, no gigs and no 
money, ” McIlwaine retorts), 


|| : she continued to play inter- 


Honky Tonk Angel 


(POLYDOR, 1972) 


nationally, including Japanese 
club engagements with 

DJ Ken Yanai. Still, she 
needed to pay her rent, and 
since 2013 she has driven 


Amind-expand- 
ing, slide-guitar 
driven take on 
funk, folk and 
jazz, with a killer 
version ‘of Blind Faith's Can't 
Find My Way Home and choppy 
Staxfunk workout Toe Hold. 
Charisma and technical virtuosi- 
ty shine through. 


We The People 
(POLYDOR, 1973) 
À Folky originals 
showcase her 
talent, covers of 
Jack Bruce show 
her versatility. Her 
unaccompanied Farther Along 
is spiritually sound, her take on 
Glenn Yarbrough's wicky wacky 
folk Everybody Wants To Go To 
Heaven celestial. 


a school bus. 

“T never had any children 
because I gave up everything 
to play music. Now I have b 
loads,” she says. “I would not 
do overa single minute: it 
took every thing I went 
through to get me where 
Iam today.” 

She’s currently working 
on a documentary, and w ill 
complete her autobiogr: aphy 
this summer. 

“If they have to wheel me 
out on a gurney, I will still 
crank ир the slide and blast 
says McIlwaine, who 





away,” 
The Real Ellen celebrates 40 years of sobriety 
Mcllwaine this November. “Never ever 
(KOTAI, 1975) 


ill I quit." 
Opening with her "qe 


discombobulat- Andy Morris 





ing take on See Ellenmcilwaine.com and 
Stevie's Higher Bandcamp for sounds and info. 
Ground, : | 


Mcllwaine's strongest LP also 
boasts covers of John Lee 
Hooker and Albert King. The 
originals, like Down So Low, 
are equal parts heart-rending 
and thrilling. 















\ 


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x: 


can't hang around today - he's due at 
work in an hour. “I gota job at Rough 

Trade's warehouse in Bristol seven months 
ago, to stay sane over lockdown," he says. 
“| quite like the extra money as well." 

As well as packing up popular choices 
by Rag'n'Bone Man, Jane Weaver and Sault, 
he's also been dispatching pallets of Squid's 
bracing debut Bright Green Field, which 
debuted at UK Number 4 in May. It’s some 
achievement for such a non-linear, stylistically 
catholic record, where motorik rhythms 
sharp-elbow it out with funk, math-rock, 
jazz, electronics, tape manipulation, dub and 
beyond, as Judge speaks-shouts lyrics of being 
marooned in his immediate environment and 
the virtual and psychological spaces beyond. 

“Apart from one song, the whole thing 
was written before we even knew what 
coronavirus was," says Judge of its oblique 
topicality. "It's just a series of accidents that 
it seems so timely in mood... we write totally 
asa group, апа it's five people with differing 
opinions shouting at each other, but each 
moment of the music has to be liked by 
everyone, and every voice gets heard." 

They began when Judge, Louis Borlase 


S SINGING drummer Ollie Judge 


22 MOJO 





INDIE-KOSMISCHE 
SCREAMERS SQUID 
ARGUE IN HARMONY 


With Cephalopod On Our 
Side: Squid on the rocks 
(from left): Louis Borlase, 
Anton Pearson, Ollie 
Judge, Arthur Leadbetter 
and Laurie Nankivell 


Road 


surreal." 





Cool." 
(guitars, vocals), Arthur Leadbetter 
(keyboards, strings), Laurie Nankivell 
(bass, brass) and Anton Pearson 
(guitars, vocals) met at the University 
of Sussex. Previously, Judge had 
made chillwave as Twin Empire, 


FACT SHEET 
* Forfans of: Black 
Midi, Young Knives, 
Black Country New 


* Squid love being 
onthe Warp label. 
Says Judge: “I'm still 
pinching myself. | 

ዘ grew up with Aphex 
M Twin, Boards Of 

| Canada and Flying 
Lotus, and to be 
labelmates with 
people like that, and 
to havethe Warp 
logo a millimetre 
away from our band 
name, is totally 


ወ “I'm not gonna go 
for Phil Collins," says 
Judge, when asked 
whois his favourite 
singing drummer. 
Instead, he cites 
Cold Pumas' Patrick 


Krautrocky," he 

says ofthe latter. “1 
remember looking at 
their drummer who 
sang and thinking, 


е Squiet Please! is 
the group's regularly 
updated Spotify 
playlist of current 
faves, which at press 
time includes 0) 
Rashad, Late Of The 
Pier, Anika and Harry 


“It’s five people 
with differing 


opinions shouting 


at each other.” 
OLLIE JUDGE 











disturbing reflection of post-Brexit 


Fisherand Zach Choy | — Britain and its nerve-chewing 
from Crack Cloud. dialand Atti th 
Pitti media landscape. At times the 


tracklist drills into the subcutane- 
ous panic layer with literary echoes 
of psycho-social augurs Douglas 
Coupland, Mark Fisher and JG 
Ballard, whose 1974 novel Concrete 
Island haunts queasy groove G.S.K. 
"Ballard would have enjoyed the 
empty airports and deserted 
holiday resorts, but | don't reckon 
he'd have liked no cars on the 
road," is Judge's verdict on how the 


Nankivell was into experimental Thumann. Seer of Shepperton would have 
music (one endeavour involved KEY TRACKS weathered the early lockdown. 
using a waterproof microphone to e GSK. Stirring again after too long in 
record the sound of ice in buckets * Pamphlets enforced hibernation, Squid tour 
cracking) and the other three were x cmi Britain from July, head to Europe 





in a funk and soul band called, 





in October and go to the US in 





variously, Better Call Soul, Soul 

Campbell and Our Soul. Attending a show 
by Godspeed You! Black Emperor in October 
2015, says Judge, was, "a very early Squid 
experience and an interesting start point. 

We just wanted to be in a band like that, but 
when we tried, we realised it was really, really 
hard and started doing punk music instead." 
He adds their earliest shared influences were 
the open-ended kosmische explorations of 
Меш, Can and flute-era Kraftwerk. 

Full-flight live gigs and a series of 
mundane/wired releases including House- 
plants and the Town Centre EP started the 
Squid cult, but they left them off the album, 
which is a chaotically integrated and often 


November. They're already thinking 
of album number two. "The music we're 
writing is alot more melodic and | definitely 
want to start shouting less," says Judge. 
^| mean, I'd love to be a pop band doing 
three-minute songs." Until then, the Rough 
Trade warehouse calls. "My work friends are 
always poking fun,” he says. "They take 
pictures of me packing up the Squid record 
and putit on Instagram, saying the singer of 
Squid's packing his own record up, what a 
humble and down-to-earth guy. | hope the 
ego doesn't catch up with me. could always 
flog the albums on a market, | suppose." 

lan Harrison 





Bright Green Field is out now on Warp. 


Holly Whitaker 


Diana Markosian, Shutterstock 


'S *LOVE- 
ORIENTED INTOXICATION 
MUSIC" AND THE SWEET 
SMELL OF SUCCESS... 


66 С ALLING SOMETHING Sufi can 
lead to misunderstanding," warns 
Arooj Aftab down the line from 

her home in Brooklyn, keen to move on from 

the "ambient neo-Sufi" tag given to her 2015 

debut, Bird Under Water. So what do you do 

when your sound is distinctly sui generis, the 

deceptive complexity of Terry Riley snuggling 

up to the soulful passion of 

Abida Parveen, the ethereal 

lighting of Elizabeth Fraser 

captured in the same bottle 

as the pastoral Nick Drake? 

"It's minimal with repetitive 

structures,” she explains. 

“A peaceful, love-oriented, 

intoxication music.” 

Born in Saudi Arabia, Aftab was raised in 
Lahore, where she had a few cover versions 
go viral. “1 quickly realised 
| didn't have the skills or resources. | had a 
bigger vision and | had to pursue it, leave my 
family behind, fuck it all and do this thing.” 
She moved to America and majored in 
production and engineering at Boston's 
Berklee College of Music. “I was thinking 
ahead. | wanted to make sure | would be able 
to do work that wasn’t just music-based.” 

Supporting herself with day jobs as an 


form in a different way"; musically more 
international, with a nostalgia and sadness 
throughout. Aftab talks about ^worlds once 
known" - the Pakistan she grew up in no 
longer feels like it belongs to her - and about 
emerging from grief after the death of her 
brother. “I feel like by saying it, that this is what 
is being manifested. Grief is very bizarre, and 
it doesn't ever go away. The 
'emergence' is more assimilat- 
ing this into your daily life." 
Between those two albums 
came the home-recorded 
soundscapes of 2018's Siren 
Islands. “1 bought some 
analogue synthesizers and 
tape machines, wrote four 
pieces, didn't collaborate, no acoustic 
instruments, broke all my personal rules. 
It was fantastic." The album thematically 
embodies female empowerment, so is there 
advice she would like to pass on to women 
with musical aspirations? "Understand what 
happens in the studio,” she says. "Nobody 
will take you seriously unless you have the 
language to communicate what you want. 
l'm a huge пега. I love cables and knobs 
and microphones, and | 
want to able to focus and 









audio engineer and editor, she recorded Bird ^ hotworryabouthow | hin ыы 
Under Water, merging traditional Pakistani annoying dudes can be. балда Newsom, 
David Hutcheon 


Hariprasad 
Chaurasia, Cocteau 
Twins, Terry Riley. 

Vulture Prince was 
inspired by the 
Tower of Silence, the 
Parsi funeral pyre 
upon which the dead 
are consumed as 
carrion. "There's only 
50 much you can rip 
off the Zoroastrians," 
she says. 

For maximum 
enjoyment ofthe 
album, there's a 
Vulture Prince 
perfume oil available 
on her Bandcamp 
page, created by 
Dana El Masri. "The 
perfume is what the 
album should sound 
like, but it's doing it, 
it's totally doing it." 


music with downbeat electronica. Vulture 
Prince came out in Aprilthis year, picking up 
the threads of its predecessor but "driving the 





Arooj Aftab's Vulture Prince is 
outnow on New Amsterdam. 





























Lullaby 
Baghon Main 
Island No 2 








Arooj Aftab: 
breaking all her 
personal rules. 





MOJO PLAYLIST 


THE SMILE 


The surprise of Glastonbury’s livestream 
from May 22: Thom Yorke (above), Jonny 
Greenwood and Sons Of Kemet drummer 
Tom Skinner’s new band. Their intriguing 
set peaked with this Cure-esque glower. 
Find it: Twitter @thesmiletheband 





THE BEACH BOYS 

Time to retire those old Landlocked boot- 
legs, as this serene Cali beatitude is officially 
release. From the Sunflower/Surf's Up out- 
takes box set Feel Flows, released on July 30. 
Find it: streaming services 





туум SHARON VAN ETTEN 

& ANGEL OLSEN 

d Alchemical results from this 
Vi indie hook-up, as Springsteen 
meets late Abba's epic pop theatre. 

Find it: YouTube 


MOUSE RAT 

The grunge revival starts here, with the 
debut from Pawnee, Indiana’s second-best 
band. Parks & Recreation fans will already 
know Chris Pratt’s sensational Veddering. 
Find it: streaming services 


XAN TYLER & 
MAD PROFESSOR 


Technique singer Tyler pairs 
with UK dubmaster. More sunny 
than spacey, her voice balances lyrical bite. 
Find it: YouTube 








PAUL WELLER AND MADNESS 


Live at the Palladium in May, Jimmy Cliff's 
anthem finds Weller and the Mads in soulful 
yet justified mood. 

Find it: YouTube 





A CERTAIN RATIO 


ACR pay tribute to Andrew 


ж Weatherall via depth-charging 
techno with extra drums. 


Find it: ACR: EPC 12-inch/Bandcamp 





NATHAN SALSBURG 

Scholar of folk tradition turns his atten- 
tion to Hebrew psalms, with help from Joan 
Shelley, Will Oldham and James Elkington. 
Find it: Bandcamp 





THE CLASH 





Fan Gerald Manns took The 
Clash's synthy Cut The Crap, iso- 
| Й lated Joe Strummer's voice and 
re-recorded it with aggro-punk guitars. Its 
possibly unofficial new vinyl release Mohawk 


Revenge will help fund a Berlin Clash museum. 


Find it: YouTube 





STEWART LEE 
The 41st best stand-up ever folk-drones 
The Nightingales' 1982 song of toil, with the 


'Gales' newie Ten Bob Each Way on the 45 flip. 


Find it: Fire 7-inch/streaming services 











MOJO 23 


моЈо ` 
HEROES | 


/ 





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THE MOJO [INTERVIEW 


Through 50 years of 
taboo-busting, hat revamps 
and beard-growth, the 
"Dali of the Delta” has 
kept faith with the blues. 
Has his mojo never flagged? 
"Plug in, turn it up - that's 
always been the reward," 
says Billy Gibbons. 


Interview by DAVID FRICKE • Portrait by ROGER KISBY 


ARELY 10 MINUTES AFTER HE PICKS UP 
the phone on a recent afternoon, singer-guitarist 
Billy F. Gibbons answers the day's big question 
without even being asked. 
"They're in the studio today!" he exclaims in 
his deep, sandpaper drawl. ‘They’ are his ZZ Тор 
bandmates of the last half-century: bassist Dusty Hill and drummer 
Frank Beard. While Gibbons is on the line from his pandemic 
refuge in one of Las Vegas's oldest residential neighbourhoods — 
a house he and his wife Gilligan have dubbed Rancho G — the 
rhythm section is in Houston hammering at new material for 
ZZ Тор? first album in a decade. 
“Тһе high card I was able to pull was writing songs," Gibbons says 
of his lockdown year, which began with the cancellation of his 


» 


venerable group's 2020 tour, then veered into sessions for a new, 
ferociously good solo album, Hardware, made at a studio in the 
California desert with ex-Guns N'Roses 
drummer Matt Sorum and guitarist Austin 


Gibbons, who's added his middle initial — for Frederick, his 
father’s name — to his professional handle, was born on December 
16, 1949 in Houston into remarkable circumstances. The son of a 
pianist and conductor for films, he attended his first blues gigs as a 
child, courtesy of his family's black housekeeper. In 1967, 
Gibbons’ teenage combo, The Moving Sidewalks, scored a regional 
hit with their debut single, 99th Floor. But turning-point encounters 
with The 13th Floor Elevators and The Jimi Hendrix Experience 
ultimately led Gibbons to launch an early line-up of ZZ Top in 
1969. When Beard and Hill joined in 1970, Gibbons' template 
was permanently in place: *blues rock with a power trio rock 
expressiveness," as he puts it. 

His addition of synthesizers and pop-sharpened writing to 
1983's Eliminator and '85's Afterburner paid multi-platinum 
dividends; the band's drily comic finesse in the MTV-breakthrough 
videos for Gimme All Your Lovin’ and Sharp Dressed Man, starring 
Gibbons and Hill’s mondo-Gold Rush beards, 
didn't hurt. But Gibbons insists that ZZ Top 


Hanks. “In the lowest of lows, we hit the highest 
of highs," Gibbons declares of Hardware's 
twin-guitar sizzle and detours into surf rock and 
psychedelia. "And as I was creating music for 
that project, I was sending song ideas to Texas. 
As much as Frank and Dusty want to hang in 
front of the TV and on the golf course, I've been 
keeping them in the studio." The guitarist’s 

> gritty burst of laughter is not the last as he rolls 

5 through his life in blues over the next two hours. 


WE’RE NOT WORTHY 


Don’t fear the beard, 
advises Josh Homme. 


“When | first met Billy he'd 
come in to play on a Queens 
Of The Stone Age record 
[Lullabies To Paralyze, 2005]. 
He was playing guitar and 
hit this note and his beard 
fell and it muted the strings 
and made this harmonic. | sat there stunned. 
He said, "That's a first ever beard harmonic.’ 
Even his beard is a good guitar player.” 














have never strayed from their original, primal 
thrust. “We’re interpreters of the blues,” he 
says. “But we were fortunate to get chummy 
with the inventors. And they told us, on more 
than one occasion, ‘It’s not about heartache 
and sorrow. It runs the whole gamut. 


» 


You were born in a blues city and state. But your 
father was in a very different show business. 


Growing up, it was a constant travelling between 
Texas and California. Getting to see how > 


МО)О 27 


courtesy Billy Gibbons, Getty (6), Bud Lee Picture Maker (2), Camera Press 


28 MOJO 


< things were done behind the scenes, the 
magic that hits the silver screen - that in itself 
was an education. My dad was part of the 
team of music directors at MGM. This was 
before | was born, from 1936 to about 1944. 
He learned by ear and taught himself to read 
music. It was interesting to learn later that he 
didn't even know the name of a C chord until 
he was 28 or 29. But he learned to deliver all 
sorts of styles. 


Except the blues - you got there through 
your family's housekeeper. 


Stella Matthews - Big Stella – and her 
daughter, Little Stella, were instrumental in 
lifting the lid, leading me into the wonderful 
art form of the blues. My dad, being the 
entertainer, was working most evenings with 
his group. He would drive with my sister 

Pam and | to downtown Houston, and many 
times he'd say, "Kids, you want to overnight 
with Stella?" Because we were giving her 

a ride home. 

Stella, by this time, was exhausted; she'd be 
asleep by eight o'clock. That's when Little 
Stella grabbed us by the hand, and we walked 
down two blocks to the juke joint. This was in 
the [historically African-American] Fourth Ward, 
at the corner of Taft and West Gray. That's 
where all the big acts stopped on their way 
through town: Jimmy Reed, Howlin' Wolf... 


It sounds so improbable, considering your 
age and the racial situation in Texas: a 
young black woman escorting two white 
children into a blues club. 


This is where it really gets interesting. Little 
Stella ended up marrying a guy named Willie 
Francis, who was part of Ray Charles's 
organisation. And Willie Francis knew 
everybody at the club. So when we were 
tiptoeing into the club - Pam was five, | was 
seven - it was all smiles: "Yeah, come on in." We 
never even questioned it: "Oh, we get to go 
hear music!" 


And your father took you to a B.B. King 
recording session when you were seven 
years old... 


The main recording studios in Houston were 
Bill Quinn's outfit, Gold Star - everybody 
knows Lightnin' Hopkins on Gold Star Records 
-and Bill Holford's ACA Studios. My dad was 
constantly in and out of ACA. One afternoon, 
he said, "Why don't you hop in the car? I've got 
some work to do at the studio." He put me in 

а chair and said, "I want you to sit here. l'Il be in 
the office if you need me, but I think you'll 
enjoy this. There's an orchestra coming in." 

Lo and behold, the orchestra was B.B. King and 
company. That moment was instrumental in 
leading me to the knowledge that it was the 
guitar making the sound | was so attracted to. 


You got your first guitar as a Christmas 
present when you were 13. What were the 
records that had the most impact on you as 
you learned to play? 


| can say quite pointedly: Jimmy Reed. There 
was a song called Honey Don't Let Me Go. It 
was a B-side [to the 1956 single You've Got Me 
Dizzy]. For some reason, | kept going back to 
that one song. And B.B. King had a largely 
instrumental track, [1961's] Ain't That Just Like 
A Woman - the band shouts the title phrase, 
and B.B. would answer on guitar. The third 
entry in that grouping would be What'd | Say 
by Ray Charles - that electric piano and the 
drummer riding the bell of the cymbal. Those 
three recordings still have me mystified. 


It's funny that you mention What'd I Say. 
That electric-piano lick sounds a lot like the 
guitar riff in 99th Floor, The Moving 
Sidewalks' 1967 debut and one of the first 
songs you wrote. 


Just goes to show you that certain things don't 
die quickly. These riffs still keep coming 
around. Take ZZ Top. Here's three guys who 
have stayed together for five decades. And 
when we get together in a rehearsal room or 


A LIFE IN PICTURES 


Billy Gibbons: caught by the (face) fuzz. 



















Ready to jump off at the 
99th Floor: young Gibbons" 
yearbook photo, 1968. 


"You've got a lot of nerve": 

The Moving Sidewalks 
(Billy, second right) with Jimi 
Hendrix, Forth Worth, Texas, 
February 17, 1968. 


Mudlarks: outtakes (with 4, 

below) from the Rio 
Grande Mud album shoot, 
Texas, August 1971. 


au even today, is its 
own thing, that other 
country" ZZ Top (from 
left) Frank Beard, Billy, 
Dusty Hill, 1971. 

“Мете going to 

take Texas to the 
world": Dusty and Billy 
on the Worldwide Texas 
Tour, September 1975. 


“Dusty and | just 

threw away the 
razor": (from left) Hill, 
Gibbons and the 
beardless Beard. 

Las Vegas state of 

mind: Gibbons with 
wife Gilligan Stillwater 
in the Nevada city, 2009. 








What's in a name?: Billy 
and Scotty Moore flank 
B.B., source of both ZZ and "If 
he was the King, then we were 
headed for the Top." 


In the shades: Gibbons 

performing Cheap 
Sunglasses, on-stage with Jack 
White, then of The Raconteurs, 
August 31, 2006. 
10 “Hell, we were just 

having a good time": 

Gibbons with his Gibson Les 
Paul, on-stage in 1980. 


the recording studio, out of a day's session, I'd 
say half of it is spent with Frank, Dusty and | 
playing songs that we remember from 
growing up like [1959's] Linda Lu by Ray 
Sharpe, who came out of Dallas. Leaping 
forward to the present, to Hardware, | had a 
couple of California buddies who were clicking 
their heels: “That song, West Coast Junkie — 
you've returned to surf sounds!” Well, you can't 
deny Walk Don't Run by The Ventures or 
Pipeline by The Chantays. Pop music covers 
alot of ground. 


For a time, The Moving Sidewalks were 
housemates in Houston with Austin acid 
zealots The 13th Floor Elevators. Was it 
trips for breakfast every morning? 


There was experimentation on many levels. 

| remember going up to the Elevators’ part of 
the house and walking into the kitchen. And 
there were the Elevators, gathering around the 
stove, and they had a cake pan sprinkled with 
weed. They had put it under the broiler. The 
kitchen became a smokehouse. (Laughs) 
Whether you were actively lighting up a joint 
or not, you were under the influence. 


Could you see the impact of that lifestyle on 
their singer, Roky Erickson? And did the 
Sidewalks face any of the police harassment 
and arrests that broke up the Elevators and 
sent Erickson to a mental institution? 


Roky's vocal delivery - those maniacal screams 
would curl your hair. He had a rage that was 
like, "Little Richard, step aside." But the 
counterculture was not in favour with law 
enforcement or the Great Society. The 
Elevators quickly made the decision to hustle 
out to the West Coast. 

We had the advantage of coming and 
going. The success of 99th Floor opened the 
door to the long, lonesome highway of 
touring. Texas, even today, is its own thing, that 
other country. | remember talking with Doug 
Sahm about this. He made the exodus [to San 





Francisco] with the entire Sir Douglas Quintet. 
But he said that the harshness and threats 
reinforced that mindset, the obstinance that 
goes with the Texas thing: "You're not going to 
tell me what to do." 


Speaking of audacity, The Moving Side- 
walks opened shows in Fort Worth and 
Houston for The Jimi Hendrix Experience 
in February 1968. And you played two 

of Hendrix's hits before he came on. 

He didn't mind? 

We only had enough songs to deliver a show, 
and that included Foxy Lady 
and Purple Haze, which we 
learned from his first album. 
And they were our closing 
numbers. On the first night, I 
was looking at this guy standing 
in the shadows with his arms 
folded, stroking his chin. When 
we walked off stage, he grabbed 
me and said, “I like you. You've 
got a lot of nerve." Later, there 
was quite a bit of panic as we 
tried to get hotel rooms. We 
were escorted to the far end of 
the hallway. But Jimi said, "Hey, 
take the room across the way." 


What were the lessons you took from that 
time with him? 


Hendrix was doing things with the electric 
guitar that had not even been thought of, that 
it was not designed for. | was playing a 
Stratocaster, another thing that endeared me 
to him. One night, in the hotel, he said, "Come 
check this out." He was taking the spring off 
the whammy bar, cutting two [coils] off the 
spring so you could really push the bar down 
- just dive bomb. 

There was the string-bending - how he got 
that effect in Foxy Lady - and that powerhouse 
backing of Mitch Mitchell on drums and Noel 
Redding on bass. Jimi often said, "Man, isn't it 


great? | can go from here to the stratosphere, 
knowing that l've got a rock-solid wall 
supporting those excursions. Nobody loses 
the beat. Nobody loses the sense of where 
the music is going." From that, | had Dusty 
and Frank doing much the same, offering 

a rock-solid foundation: going through 

the changes but hammering the tonic [note]. 
That lives on today. When things get back 

to live entertainment, ZZ Top will be playing 
everything with Dusty holding down the tonic. 


You started ZZ Top as a trio in 1969 with Hill 


“The Elevators had a 
cake pan sprinkled with 
weed, put it under the 

broiler. The kitchen 
became a smokehouse 


and Beard joining the next year. What was it 
about that format that appealed to you? 


The line-up was spare, but the sound was sonic 
bombast. Frank and Dusty had already been 
learning their chops together as teenagers [in 
the Dallas-Fort Worth band American Blues]. 

| literally inherited as stalwart a backing 
section as one could ask for. And all we had to 
do was turn on the radio and there was | Feel 
Free, Sunshine Of Your Love, all of the 
examples of Cream. Between Cream and 
Hendrix, | don’t think there were too many 
other acts that need to be brought into the 
discussion. Right there you've got the Mack 
Truck going through a school zone. 


Is it fair to say that, from the beginning, 
you’ve been the leader? 

Well, I'd like to think so (laughs). It's funny - all 
three members share the same birth year. 
We're only separated by three months. 
Unfortunately, I'm the junior executive of the 
bunch. But, yeah, I'm looked upon in the 
songwriting process. We'll go into the studio. 
Frank's drum stick and Dusty's bass guitar are 
pointed at me, and they say, “All right, give us 
a beat." Or, "Tell us where to go." Frank and 
Dusty were able to deliver what | wanted 

to hear in my head. 


The culture and atmosphere 
of Texas are an integral part 
of ZZ Top's image: the 
ten-gallon hats, album titles 
like [1972's] Rio Grande Mud. 
Was that your concept from 
the start? And where did you 
get the band’s name? 


Let me back up just a bit. The 
Moving Sidewalks were 
managed by Steve Ames. We 
{?? met during a chance late-night 
e encounter at a grocery store. 

Steve was driving a brand new 

Corvette Stingray – that model 

had just been released on the 
streets. In addition to being fascinated with 
guitars, | was just as hooked on cars. 

Steve was like another version of Phil 
Spector. He had talent. He knew how to play 
and he knew arrangements. He had valuable 
input on those records. But he was fascinated 
by Texas, having just come from California. 
Suddenly, he's surrounded with this strange 
footwear, cowboy boots: "And what are these 
hats you guys wear?" The elements of Texania 
- those peculiarities - became a thing. It never 
left. And we came up with the name because it 
sounded like В.В. King - ZZ being at the end of 
the alphabet. And if he was King, we were 
headed for the top. > 





“Dusty looked 
at me once and 
said, 'Some 
of this sucks. 
But I dont 
know how to 
do anything 

else." 


“Where’s the no-no? 
Where's the taboo?” 
Billy Gibbons at home 
in West Hollywood, 
April 16, 2020. 


— Your longtime manager, the late Bill 
Ham, was unusually hands-on, credited 
with producing the albums, sometimes as 

a songwriter. What were his real contribu- 
tions to your success? 

He was following in the footsteps of Colonel 
Tom Parker. We let Bill wear the title of 
songwriter and producer. But Bill’s high card 
was keeping three wayward, crazy musicians in 
line - and keeping the doors closed so nobody 


$0 MOJO 









could get to us. That was mainly Colonel Tom's 
way of dealing with Elvis Presley: people want 
what they can't have. It was an unusual 
relationship, but I credit Bill with having had 
the chutzpah and gumption to stay with 

three guys through the harsh reality behind 
the scenes. We were all pushing the limits. 

But Bill was ready to take on the world, 

and we were all too willing to pony up and 

do our best. 


What were the bumps in the road? Beard 
has spoken candidly about his heroin 
addiction in the '70s. 

Frank had his challenging moments. There are 
a couple of photographs of Frank sitting on the 
drum throne with his eyes closed, and he 
wasn't concentrating on the next Buddy Rich 
riff (laughs). And Dusty and | had our flings with 
Jack Daniel's. Let's face it: all of us human 
beings are gifted with what | call the Joker 





Gene - something in our makeup that we want 
to get away from or out of, that makes us go 
crazy and take it to extremes. 

Hopping on a bus is not necessarily a 
glamorous topic. To walk on [stage], plug in, 
turn it up - that's always been the reward. 
| think of it as the fourth member of the band. 
But there were moments when you scratch 
your head and think, Good grief, do | want to 
continue this madness? | remember Dusty 
looked at me once and said, "Some of this 
sucks. But | don't know how to do anything 
else." We all came to that same realisation: If 
we quit, where do we go? 


Whose idea was the Worldwide Texas Tour 
in 1976 and '77? At a time when Yes and 
Pink Floyd were playing arenas with 
extravagant stages and lasers, you 
recreated the Texas prairie with desert 
flora, a buffalo, a longhorn steer, rattle- 
snakes and buzzards. What did it cost 

and was it worth it? 


It was the American bicentennial [in 1976], and 
Bill said, "We're going to take Texas to the 
people." That was his contribution to the 
zaniness. We're still quite friendly with the hero 
of that outing: the handler of the livestock, Mr 
Ralph Fisher. Everybody knew Ralph on the 
rodeo circuit. He was a rodeo clown - the guy 
in the funny outfit who ran out in the middle of 
the arena to divert the attention of the buckin’ 
broncos and raging bulls. He had the trained 
buffalo, the longhorn steer. He had the black 
buzzard, Oscar - who, by the way, is still alive, 
on record as the oldest, tamed black buzzard, 
as far as we know. 

But that menagerie was quite costly. One of 
the high figures was the money spent on 
making sure the ASPCA was satisfied - that all 
of this livestock was being tenderly cared for. 
At one point, Frank, Dusty and | learned that 
the animals were being treated better than we 
were. They had air-conditioned trailers. We 
were still in a station wagon. (Laughs) C'mon! 


Yet in spite of the sold-out arenas, many 
critics dismissed ZZ Top as a boogie band. 
Given your love for the blues and respect 
for its originators, did that bother you? 


It bothered us to no end. We were the 
dismissables. Nobody was really dissin' on us 
- it was more like a shrug of the shoulders: 
“Oh, that stuff over there.” We quickly learned 
that our lyric content was not going to be 
ushered onto the same shelf as the stuff Bob 
Dylan was creating. The more cerebral 
moments were far outside of our wheelhouse. 
But it encouraged us to keep bringing the 
music we enjoyed as a band - "Come see 

ZZ Top and have a good time." 


The story you've always told about the 
beards - that you and Hill surprised each 
other when the band reunited after a 
three-year break - is hard to believe: 
that you had no idea what the other 

guy was doing. Were you that separate 
during that time? 


We were staying in touch by the daily 
telephone call. We were playing the waiting 
game. This was some stunt, at management 
level, to get us out of a stifling contract with 
London Records. Warner Bros was waiting in 
the wings. All we had to do was stay in touch. 
But the beards - people said, "How did you 
think of this crazy thing? Especially the irony of 
your fearless drummer, the clean-shaven 
member whose name is Beard?" The word is 
"lazy". Dusty and | just threw away the razor, 
and we let it fly. 


Eliminator was ZZ Top's MTV breakthrough, 
thanks to the videos and electronics. But 
you were already working with synthesizers 


on 1981's El Loco, in songs like Ten Foot Pole 
and Groovy Little Hippie Pad. What was the 
attraction for you as a bluesman? 


You know when there's a brick wall and you 
want to see the other side of it, when 
somebody says, "Oh, you shouldn't go there"? 
It was always magnetic. You look around and 
say, Where's the no-no? Where's the taboo? 
Part of the reward for me in the studio is that 
glorious moment when the engineers spin 
around, look at you and go, "You can't do that." 
And | say, "Why not?" 

The bass line in Groovy Little Hippie Pad 
came from watching a Devo rehearsal. They 
were in town, and | happened to stumble into 
the venue where they were warming up for the 
evening's performance. They were part of this 
new faction of bands, getting very experimen- 
tal, learning how to make the most of these 
newfound contraptions. And Devo had this 
mischievous approach that | appreciated. 

And | had a good friend who opened my 
eyes: "I see you're getting a little rambunctious 
here. Have you seen this band Depeche 
Mode?" | had just spent some time in France 
and England where | started to hear these new 


FROM A TO ZZ 


Tres classics by the king 
of the cyber blues. Your 
guide: David Fricke. 


GARAGE GUMPTION 


The Moving Sidewalks 
The Complete Collection 
ЖЖЖЖ 


ROCKBEAT, 2012 


уур The teenage Gibbons 

а : christened his '66-68 combo in 
the spirit of The 13th Floor 

| Elevators: "If they were going 





up, | was going further.” This 
2-CD box presents that 
freaked-out mission in its entirety, including 
athoroughly unhinged whack at The Beatles" 
| Want To Hold Your Hand and a 1968 LP, Flash, 
with Gibbons pointing the way to his next 
band in Joe Blues. 


SMALL BEARD BOOGIE 


ZZ Top 
Тгев Hombres 
ЖЖЖЖ 


LONDON, 1973 


After two albums of 
straightforward licks, the 
songwriting kicks in on ZZ's 
first gold record: Gibbons" 
frantic-telegraph riff in Waitin" 
For The Bus; the elliptical 
slither of Jesus Just Left Chicago. Beer Drinkers 
And Hell Raisers is an anthemic call to arena 
fun. But the roots are strong: Gibbons’ 
descending bridge in the boogie La Grange is 
a Robert Johnson quote. 


Billy F. Gibbons 
Hardware 
ЖЖЖЖ 


CONCORD, 2021 





Attention guitar freaks: 
Gibbons' fretwork on this 

"I Mojave-flavoured whirl is off 
7 the hook and on the money, 
while the many hues of blues 
affirm his wide-angle view of 
keeping it real: the Elevators flashback in She's 
OnFire; the surfin' noir of West Coast Junkie; 
the Sergio Leone-style seance Desert High. If 
this is where Gibbons is headed on ZZ Top's 
next one, look out. 


ja ydwate 
( 














applications for making pop music. A lot of it 
was declared the antithesis of heavy, heavy 
sounds. But going to see Depeche Mode 
completely changed the landscape for me. 
They had no drummer, no guitar player, no 
bass player - the most austere setup. But if you 
closed your eyes, you couldn't believe what 
you were hearing. It was heavy as lead. 


In an interview a few years ago, you told me 
that one of the highest compliments ZZ Top 
ever got was from the producer Jim 
Dickinson: "You have taken this blues thing 
to a very surrealistic place, and it still holds 
the tradition." 


I've always had a fascination with the 
contemporary arts. | tell people this, and they 
say, "You're supposed to be this Texas-gun- 
slinger guitar player. What's that all about?" 

I tell ‘em I’ve been looking at the abstracts for 
along time. When | was 17, | made a trip over to 
Spain with some friends and we knocked on 
the door at Salvador Dali's house. He greeted 
us, let us іп. | guess it was kind of a novelty to 
have visitors, especially some teenagers going, 
^Hey, we like you!" (Laughs) 

Dickinson also said, "You guys are the Dali 
of the Delta." That's a heady tag. But it still 
exists. | was out in the desert for three months 
making Hardware, at a studio called Escape. 
The closest town was Yucca Valley, right on 
the edge of Joshua Tree. But it was more than 
just something to do [during the pandemic]. 
The music acknowledged the surroundings 
and that surrealistic energy. It catapulted us 
into... (Pauses, then laughs) Hell, we were just 
having a good time. 


ZZ Top's record sales fell off in the '90s, 
even though you were still doing the 
business on the road. Were you concerned 
that the band was running out of steam? 


A little bit of that. There were the glory days, the 
mid-'80s, when it seemed like everything was 
working. But you look at the present: there is so 
much music out there. It's not an uncommon 
challenge when you want something new: 
“Where do we start?" That's why I'm so excited 
about Hardware. It follows suit with what people 
are expecting. It doesn't get too far outside the 
arena. But there are a couple of twists and turns. 


Is there an ultimate ZZ Top album still to be 
made? And is it worth the effort? It is a very 
different business now... 


There's a curious aim over the horizon. What's 
lurking over there? There's only 12 notes in the 
scale. It’s how you organise them. It can be 
aggravating, downright maddening. But one 
would be wise in avoiding the shrugging of the 
shoulders: "Everything's been done." A lot has 
been done. think the higher card is, "Fine, 
how about this?" 

We're witnessing the evolution of circuit 
design and silicon chips - computers figuring 
out how to do things faster and better. But if 
you come back to the lively spirit within the 
human condition, the most talented box of 
silicon chips is going to have a hard time 
conveying enthusiasm. And it can't play like 
Jimmy Reed. 


Finally, what does it take to keep the beard 
under control? Do you ever get up in the 
morning and think, "OK, enough's enough, 
time to shave"? 


| haven't gotten to that point. Gilligan, she's so 
fussy with the latest oils and lotions and 
conditioning. She keeps me well groomed. 
That side of it is OK. The question still lingers: 
do you sleep with the beard under the covers 
or over the covers? 


Which is it? 
I don't know. l'm asleep. ወ 


MOJO 51 












With their effortless songs and on- P 
larks, CROWDED HOLISE made 
a good show of flying above the н: а 
splits апа ѕаскіпоѕ, апа their drummer's 
shocking suicide, told another sto у. 
As Neil Finn and Nick Seymour — the 
“angsty songwriter” and the “тай 8662: 
- regroup and go again, they relive eihe | = 
blasphemy апа meot raffles, the good -* 
times and bad, with ANDY ЕУЕ 4 


Portrait: LYNN GOLDSMITH. 


N THE MID ’80s, AMBASSADORS FROM 

South Pacific nations were invited to bring their 

national dish to a pot luck diplomatic dinner. 

When the New Zealand and Australian guests both 

turned up with a pavlova it caused a rancorous 

regional spat about the meringue-based dessert’s 
origin that ran in local media for, well, days. 

Likewise, ownership of the region’s second-biggest mu- 
sical export (after AC/DC) is also disputed, although 
Crowded House’s classic line-up — Neil Finn OBE (from Te 
Awamutu, NZ, pop 13,100), Nick Seymour and Paul Hester 
(both from Victoria, Australia) — splits 2:1 for the Aussies. 
“At the rehearsal for one US chat show,” recalls Seymour 
today, “the host introduced us with, ‘Throw another shrimp 
on the barbie, here’s Crowded House from Australia.’ Neil 
walked over and said, ‘Well, I’m from New Zealand actu- 
ally.’ So we ended up deciding to be ‘Antipodean’, which is 
just so earnest.” 

Frontman Finn’s string of classic guitar-pop songs for 
Crowded House — Don’t Dream It’s Over, Four Seasons In 
One Day, Weather With You, Fall At Your Feet, Distant Sun, 
the list goes on — have earned him precedence. It’s Finn 
who calls the group into existence and orders its dissolu- 
tion, as he did, for the first time, in 1996, on the verge of a 
next-level breakthrough. 

“I was all ready for it,” rues Seymour. “Then Neil 
rings up to say he’s leaving the band. That took a long time 
to get over.” 

Finn’s reasons, like his deceptively deep songs of self- 
doubt, Catholic guilt and romantic redemption, and like 
the man, were complicated. 

“I was, and am, ambitious,” he tells MOJO today. “I 
wanted and want to be noticed, I wanted the music to be 
heard. But I definitely take responsibility for making some 
quite poor decisions in the band’s career.” > 


Lynn Goldsmith 


32 MOJO 


WEATHER 


Crowded House, 1988: (from 
left) Neil Finn, Paul Hester, Nick 
Seymour. “Your personality 
can freeze when you become 
successful,” says Finn, “you 

can become self-absorbed.” 





Getty (2), ы of Neil Finn, LFI/Avalon, ©Wendy McDougall 


<< Thirty-five years since the release of their 
debut album, Crowded House are once again a 
going concern. Finn (63) and Seymour (62) have 
released their seventh LP, Dreamers Are Waiting, and just 
finished an actual tour of New Zealand. Any 
hatchets, it is presumed, are long buried. Yet 
across the cheeky chappies who once set the 
question for a Saturday morning kids TV 
competition as, "Which member of the band 
isn't circumcised?", lies the shadow of a four- 
decade history of bust-ups, lost friendships, and 
drug dalliances, plus the much longer one cast 
by the mental health struggles of Paul Hester and 
bis shocking 2005 suicide. 

No wonder Neil Finn fitted right in when he 
joined Fleetwood Mac. 


EIL FINN WAS JUST 19 WHEN HE WAS DRAFTED 

into older brother Tim's art rock group Split Enz, 21 

when his first solo songwriting contribution, 1980's I Got 
You, gave Split Enz their only UK Top 20 hit. Two years later, they 
were poised for a follow-up with Six Months In A Leaky Boat, 
written by Tim about his nervous breakdown. Unfortunately, the 
Falklands War broke out and it fell foul of a BBC blacklist banning 
songs with naval connotations. 

When Split Enz disbanded in 1984 no founding members 
remained, leaving Neil fronting what he still considered to be his 
brother's band. Crucially, however, a new drummer had arrived: 
Melbourne-born Paul Hester. Even as Split Enz conducted their fare- 
well tour of Australia, the pair were inventing their next band and, at 
the final after-show party, bassist Nick Seymour ‘introduced’ himself. 

“The story that I approached Neil at a party makes it souna like 
I drunkenly accosted him, but it was a totally calculated move,’ 
Seymour. “I 


? says 
I admired Neil, thought he'd written some great songs, 
and by hook or by crook I was going to work with this guy." 
) ) going 5 guy 
Finn, meanwhile, was vaguely aware of Seymour. “He was on the 


34 MOJO 









Having a Finn time: (this page, clockwise from top 
left) Split Enz, 1980; Hester, Seymour and Finn in 
New York; Seymour's sleeve artwork with a blind 
drawn over Together Alone controversy; Finn on- 
stage, Amsterdam, 1988; (opposite, top) Don’t 
Dream It’s Over video shoot, Sydney, 1986; Neil 
Finn enjoys some recreation with producer Youth. 


fringes of the Melbourne scene, a very 
gregarious, outgoing fellow — still is. Also a 
bit of a smart arse.” 

With the core trio complete, Finn and Hester 
trod the globe in search of a record deal, eventually 
signing to Capitol in America. With another guitarist, 
Craig Hooper, in tow, they piled into a car and set out 
on an Australian tour as The Mullanes, after Finn’s 
middle name. For Finn, it was seat-of-the-pants 
touring that he’d never experienced with Split Enz. 

“At one gig, a big yacht club in Belmont, the car 
park was full and we thought, ‘Finally, an audience!” says Finn. 
“But there were three people in our room while downstairs was 
packed for the biggest meat raffle in the Hunter Valley.” 

Australia had never been the prize, however, and when the trio, 
now minus Hooper, flew to Los Angeles to record their debut 
album they were convinced this was the big time. Hester and 
Seymour surfed cardboard boxes down the stairs of the band’s two- 
bed rented apartment at 1902 N Sycamore Avenue — the titular 
‘crowded house’ — and invited the neighbourhood back to party, 
while Finn worked up songs with Mitchell Froom, a young Cana- 
dian producer living in Los Feliz. Strumming acoustic guitar in 
Froom’s back bedroom while the producer played synth bass and 
B3 organ, Finn glimpsed soulful paths for his songs to explore. But 
the early weeks in the studio were filled with wrong turns, and Finn 
was starting to have a mini crisis. 

“T was overthinking in my own angsty songwriter way,” he 
explains. “Some of my very first songs became successful with Split 
Enz, and your personality can freeze when you become successful, 
you can stop maturing and become self-absorbed.” 








The self-titled album's first three singles tanked in the US and 
Capitol's interest waned. The band fell between stools: too pop for 

alternative success and, it seemed, too quirky for the mainstream. 
Attempting to fashion their own destiny, the band hit the road, 
busking in restaurants, small radio stations, record company offices, 
wherever they could stir some local interest. Eventually, the larger 
stations took notice, as did Capitol's bigwigs. 

"Those busking shows are where we really learned how to be a 
band," says Finn, “how to let it all hang out and gather i it back up again.” 

In the meantime, Don’t Dream Ie s Over was released as a single, 
a last roll of the dice. Everyone liked it, but it didn't seem the kind 
of song to break a new act. Too downbeat. Back in Australia for a 
New Year's Eve gig supporting OMD, their manager called: Don't 
Dream It's Over was Number 36 in the Billboard singles chart. 


ON'T DREAM IT'S OVER CHANGED EVERYTHING. 

Number 1 in Canada and New Zealand, it eventually hit 

Number 2 in the US and Top 30 in the UK. After three 
months gigging just to spark some interest, they now had a smash 
hit and would spend much of the next 18 months on the road 
around the world. 

“One night, just before going on stage, the record company 
asked us to phone every chart return store in America to thank 
them for getting us to Number 3," Finn recalls with a disbelieving 
chuckle. *I was too frazzled and refused, but hey, we didn't get to 
Number 1, so maybe I was wrong." 

Crowded House were about to learn how fleeting а рор moment 
can be. Their more melancholy second album, Temple Of Low Men, 
performed much less well than expected, and when an early version 
of third album Woodface was rejected by Capitol, a rethink was in 
order, Finn’s somewhat random solution was to sack Seymour. As 
the bassist remembers it, there was no sugar coating: “He just told 
me he didn’t want to be in a band with me any more." 

A month later Seymour rang Finn and declared, “You know this 
is stupid?" Finn agreed, and the bass player was reinstated. Looking 
back, Finn admits the fault. 

“Nick’s a really quirky player,” he says. “When he's working out 


“I DEFINITELY TAKE 
RESPONSIBILITY FOR 
MAKING SOME QUITE 


POOR DECISIONS IN 
THE BAND'$ CAREER.” 
NEIL FINN 





a bass line he sometimes doesn’t play the same thing twice for two 
weeks and I allowed that to become the focus of my own writing 
angst. It’s not like we made any progress while he was gone.’ 

Meanwhile, Finn had been writing with his elder brother again, 
penning an album’s worth of songs in just a few days. When Neil 
asked if some of their co-writes might be used on Woodface, Tim, 
self-admittedly envious of the success of Don’t Dream It’s Over, 
had a half-joking proviso: yes, but only if he joined the band. 

It was a bad idea. Over six years Crowded House had become a 
unique live act that embraced chaos. The trio’s banter between 
songs verged on improvisational comedy, the audience encouraged 
to throw notes onto the stage that, if they took the band’s fancy, 
might completely change the setlist or open a discussion on 
modernist art. “We had an understanding, through years of busking 
and rocking up anonymously at open mike nights, that if I did this, 
then Paul would do that and Neil would do this,” Seymour says. It 
was a tight, slick piece of musical farce that didn’t include Tim. 

“Tim was a frontman,” Seymour continues, “and yet here he 
was at the side playing keyboards during old songs he had no 
connection with." 

Eventually, as they waited to go on-stage at King Tut’s in Glasgow, 
Neil suggested his older brother might be happier if he left. 
Rumours suggested a dust-up high on the Gallagher Scale of broth- 
erly spats, but Neil recalls nothing like that. 

"There was, um, conversation and agreement, um, all actually 
very polite," he says haltingly, *and, you know, if two people started 
talking at the same time it was all, *No, after you. . ." 

Ironically, Weather With You — one of the F inn/Finn co-writes 
that saved Woodface — became a hit in February 1992, three months 
after Tim left. Likewise, Crowded House's bookings in the UK 
went from two nights at London's tiny Borderline in June '91, to 
Wembley Arena exactly 12 months later. Once again, Tim had 
missed sharing his brother's success. 


OODFACE FLIPPED CROWDED HOUSE'S 

career entirely. America wasn't listening any more, but 

the band was now firmly established in Britain and 
Europe. Having migrated to Capitol's UK sister label Parlophone, 
Finn wanted to make a grown-up, statement album. The unlikely 
producer would be ex-Killing Joke bassist Martin Glover, AKA 
Youth, fresh from work with The Orb on ambient house trailblazer 
Little Fluffy Clouds. The band, says Seymour, bonded with him over 
"a big spliff and his record collection" 

*We were aware of his connections with KLF and The Orb," 
explains Finn, "things that were right outside our sphere but had an 
integrity we admired. We didn't want to make a record like The 
Orb, but Youth was very singer-songwriter oriented as well. He 
liked Cat Stevens as much as he liked hardcore trance." 

Decamping to the black sand beaches that line the west coast of 
New Zealand's North Island, they built a studio in a friend's house at 
Karekare, the main location for Jane Campion's 1993 period drama 
The Piano. A place of Maori myth, tribal genocide, emerald bush and 
sublime yet treacherous surf; it's also criss-crossed with ley lines. 
Youth's esoteric interests were pique od. “I was experimenting ‘heavily 
with psychedelics and really into crystals at the time,” says the pro- 
ducer today, “and this place was just brimming with magical energy.” 

But the mix of London hippy raver and guitar pop band wasn’t 
an easy one. Time was lost while Youth searched for > 


MOJO 35 


ልዘ the 
rated by 


“ ED- Z HOUSE! 
уры 


(Capitol, 1986) 

Sparky debut, home to the 
everlasting Don’t Dream It’s Over. 
Alongside the jaunty pop of 
Something So Strong and Now 
Мете Getting Somewhere are songs 
about suicide (Hole In The River) and 
obsessive love (Love You ‘Til The 
Day | Die), extremes that contain all 
of Crowded House’s fizzing essence. 





(Capitol, 1988) 
Left alone by Capitol after the 
success of Don’t Dream..., Finn’s 
natural melancholy poured through 
gems suchas Into Temptation, 
Mansion Іп The Slums and Better Be 
Home Soon. One US critic called it 
“sanctimonious self-pity”, entirely 
missing the point of the true fan's 
deep-cut album. 


(Capitol, 1991) 

The CSN-like 
Weather With 
You's radio 
ubiquity in 1992 
cemented the 
band’s future іп 
the UKand 
Europe, but Woodface is a messy 
album. Half co-written with brother 
Tim, Chocolate Cake and There 
Goes God's goofiness sounds 
uncomfortable alongside the 
sublime Fall At Your Feet and Four 
Seasons In One Day. 








(Parlophone/Capitol, 1993) 


Looser and almost psychedelic in 
places, this is the band’s most 


36 MOJO 


albums, 


cohesive statement. Log drummers 
and a Maori choir lend a briny South 
Pacific tang to several tracks, but the 
more trad guitar pop of Distant Sun 
is probably Finn’s songwriting 
pinnacle, possibly even one of 
humankind’s greatest musical 
moments. 





(Parlophone, 2007) 

Agrab bag of styles from the 
previous albums, the reunion album 
is symbolic of Seymour and Finn’s 
emotional struggle after Hester’s 
suicide. Although mostly written 
before his death, it’s impossible not 
to read some prescience into lyrics 
from Don't Stop Now, such as, 
“something | can write about... 
something І сап cry about”. 


(Fantasy/Universal, 2010) 

‘The quiet one’ of the catalogue, 
but a fully collaborative album 
between Finn, Seymour and 
latter-day Housemate Mark Hart. 
Bouncy pop and pillowy ballads 
harked back to the old days, but 
with the members now in their 
fifties the themes were more 
reflective, less visceral, more solo 
McCartney than prime Beatles. 


(ЕМІ/Опімегѕаі, 2021) 

‚| Even with Finn's 

| sons Elroy and 

| Liamand former 

| producer Mitchell 
Froom now in the 
~z band, this sounds 
aùse| more like ‘classic’ 
Crowded House than either of the 
previous reunion albums. Love and 
family fillthe songs with guilt and 
hope, the youngsters re-injecting 
azing not heard since the debut. 





<< a crystal he'd buried near a waterfall, while Finn complains of 
"negative energy" and admits to dabbling with acid. He calls it a 
*vocational rather than recreational" choi Youth, however, 
claims it was something the band and crew embraced. 

"There was a night, pitch black, where we went for a barefoot 
walk down the track to the sea. I was in front, the others in a line 
with their hands on the one in front's shoulder, and as we went I 
started going faster and faster until we were all running through the 
dark forest, unable to see a thing, laughing our heads off. Amazing 
no one hit anything." 

Seymour — whose marriage collapsed around the same time — 
was unimpressed by some of Youth's actual production work. He 
recalls Finn str uggling with a difficult vocal take, and asking for 
feedback. The response: a light but unmistakable snoring coming 


from a couch in the control room. “I asked why he was sleeping and 


he just said, ‘I was tired, man.” 
More surprising is Seymour’s grudge against Richard Thompson 
a friend of Froom's who had contributed the Django Reinhardt-style 
guitar solo on Temple Of Low Men’s Sister Madly. As with every 
Crowded House album, Seymour had painted the sleeve artwork for 
what was to be called Together Alone. This one was a triptych of 
Christ, Buddha and Muhammad in a car. When Thompson, a mus- 
lim since 1974, saw it, he objected in the strongest terms. 

“We argued about religious censorship but he was completely 
correct,” Seymour concedes. “Bearing in mind what рар ned at 
Charlie Hebdo, good thing too. But saying he found me 'personally 
offensive’ was a bit much." Seymour repainted the cover with a 


curtain drawn across Muhammad's window. 


OGETHER ALONE CATAPULTED CROWDED HOUSE 


$, but it came at a cost. Hester had 


to another 

been struggling with depression for years, although his 
bandmates were only now beginning to see how deep the problem 
ran. He’d been increasingly unhappy during the recording of 
Together Alone, keeping a distance that ev entually influenced the 
album title. Halfway through their 1994 North American tour, just 
before a show in Atlanta, the drummer quit. 

“Everybody finds their breaking point,” Finn says today, “and 
Paul had got into a spiral of too many days in strange midwest towr 
We didn’t really understand what was happe ning with him, but in 
some ways we were relieved that at least something had happened.” 





“МУ LIFE CHANGED AFTER KNOWING 


PAUL $0 CLOSELY. 1 HAD TO WORK 
OLIT A LOT ABOUT THE HUMAN 


CONDITION.” 


TF, 


Let’s busk agai 
House do MTV's Unplugged, 1990, 

with Tim Finn, far right; (above 

left) Finn’s got soles, London 1991; = 
(left) Paul Hester, 2000; (right, 

from right) Crowded House today, 

Nick Seymour, Elroy Finn, Mitchell 
Froom, Neil and Liam Finn. 


“Paul was expecting his first child,” adds Seymour, “and he was 
possibly in the early stages of becoming agoraphobic. He talked 
about not even wanting to leave the page of the [Melbourne street 
atlas] Melways he lived on. His mood swings and vulnerability were 
obviously enslaved to the band’s schedule of ever y day having to 
look at Neil and me, and then act like nothing was wrong.” 

The remaining pair finished the tour with Wally Ingram deputis- 
ing for Hester, borrowed from support act Sheryl Crow. But for 
Finn something fundamental shifted when his best friend left, and 
when he and Seymour reconvened to work up new songs something 
didn’t gel for the songwriter. If it was going to be different, it had to 
be completely different. 

Seymour, meanwhile, believed that with just one more album 
they could be the biggest band in the world. 
our contract with C apitol, I assumed we were going to sign to an- 
other big label and we'd suddenly be quite financially independent, 
recording a flagship album. Then Neil leaves. I waited a few weeks, 
thinking he'd change his mind." 

Finn's course was set, however. *It was definitely pulling the plug 
on something, but I'm quite reactionary and restless by nature and 
I thought it best to stop while there was something left in the tank." 

On November 24, 1996, Crowded House's valedictory Farewell 
To The World tour ended with a free concert on the steps of the 
Sydney Opera House in front of 250,000 people. Rejoined by Hes- 
ter for a final performance, the experience was bittersweet: their 
biggest moment was also their last. 

"The after-show for that wasn't great," says Finn ruefully. 
"There was a big club hired and we all turned up, but no one was in 
the mood to celebrate?” 

Worse was to come. 


N MARCH 26, 2005, PAUL HESTER WAS FOUND 

hanged from a tree in Elsternwick Park, near his 

Melbourne home, just 46. It was a decade since he’d 
left Crowded House, but it still felt like losing a bandmate. 

“When he left the group it was hard not to be aware that he was 
in the middle of something very big,” says Finn. “We hadn’t seen 
much of Paul but it was good when we did. He’d been my best 
friend and it was deeply distressing.” 

“My life has really changed after knowing Paul so closely and 
dealing with the aftermath for his family and those that loved him,” 


“We’d just got out of 


NICK SEYMOUR 


ጭ- 


Г 


естек 


ጩክ - 


еу СМ € 


: (far left) Crowded 





Seymour confides. “I had to try and work out a lot about the human 
condition and what ‘fragile’ means, but I never saw anything in him 
as being that morbid, never thought that it was threatening in regard 
of life and death.” 

Hester’s death did, however, bring Finn and Seymour back 


together. Already in the middle of recording a solo album, Finn 
suggested Seymour come and play some bass. The songs had 
been largely written before Hester’s death but the album, Time On 
Earth, resonated in such a way it became a memorial to their fallen 
Crowded Housemate. “Paul dying remains a deeply troubling 
time,” Finn says. “Although there’d beet a full stop put on C rowded 
House, we thought there was something more to be had or given to 
the band as a soulful experience, something to commemorate. It 
may be a strange reaction but it seemed right at the time.” 

Since then, there has been another Crowded House album — the 
seldom-spotted Intriguer in 2010 — solo Neil and Finn Brothers 
projects, the Pajama Club record with Finn's wife Sharon, charity 
album 7 Worlds Collide, featuring Johnny Marr, Eddie Vedder and 
Radiohead's Phil Selway and Ed O'Brien, and 2018's Lightsleeper, 
recorded with son Liam. 

Then, two years ago, Finn was asked to replace Lindsey Bucking- 
ham in Fleetwood Mac. Watching Mac fans respond to the band's 
old songs, he started to think that maybe there was not only worth 
in re-engaging with his own past, but creating а new present, too. 
Reconvening Crowded House in LA just before lockdown, the now 
five-piece (featuring Seymour, Finn's sons Liam on guitar and 
drummer Elroy, and Mitchell Froom on keyboards) recorded 
Dreamers Are Waiting, a lush and sure-footed album that nonetheless 
sparkles with a joy and energy that recalls the band's debut. 

“I don't know where it fits in the canon as such, that will 


take time to figure out,” Finn says, “but this iteration of the band is 
very exciting. » 

Even though his sons have backed him in various solo permuta- 
tions, Finn thought they might scoff at the idea of joining Crowded 
House. Not for the first time in the group's story, he was wrong. 

“I didn't understand why һе w: aited so long to ask," says Liam. 
*Who other than Dad, Nick and Mitchell locns more about the 


band than us? Maybe when he gives up we'll just carry on as a 


» 






family franchi: 
*Ha!" barks Finn Sr at the idea. 
Family Singers. Why the fuck not?" 





*Who knows, though? The Finn 


ወ 


MOJO 57 


Sci-fi, soul and self-belief 
carried through 
chaos at home in Portis- 
head, to Nashville, where 
Dan Auerbach and Sister 
Rosetta Tharpe have 
helped her connect with 
the source, and where the 
future is finally within 
reach. “Just commit and 
that shit is yours," 
she tells : 


Photography by JIM HERRINGTON 


PE e ты 
= መማ 
ምቺ: - 

LS iE == 


IU 
p 


EERING AT THE HIPSTERS AROUND THE SWIMMING POOL AT THE DIVE MOTEL, 
a refashioned 1950s-era motor lodge in east Nashville, Yola looks like a visiting Romulan ambas- 
sador. The bright May day illuminates her green, yellow and black striped dress, lavender-tinged 
tresses and two angular slashes of electric green eye shadow. As we step into one of the hotel's 
kitschy rooms for our interview, it turns out that the topic of Star Trek is not only a quick path to 
the 37-year-old singer's heart, but a good frame for understanding her music. 
“1 grew up on Star Trek: Next Gen,” she says. “I just love the Data character, his relationship 
with everyone and the quest for what is humanity and human nature. Science fiction and art ask the big questions." 

And it turns out that sci-fi has a bearing Yola's new album, Stand For Myself. 

"It's written from the point of view of an ‘other’,” she says. “In this particular case, not an android, but a black 
lady. Someone who maybe their humanity isn't seen clearly and needs to tell some stories about that humanity for 
people to understand the lens through which they live." 

The stories on her second full-length record match themes of feminine strength and longing for connection with 
widescreen arrangements that surround her controlled-fire vocals (“Му restraint might be a British thing," she says) 
with a summery collage of classic vibes — from Motown '65 to doo wop to lush countrypolitan — or what Yola calls 
"de-genred pop". 

“What I do sits on the nexus of a number of aesthetics,” she explains, with professorial flair. “Think of Minnie 
Riperton. How do you categorise something like Les Fleurs? It's not straight-up soul, not psych-jazz. Randy 
Newman is the same way. So many streams run through his music. That's what I want to do. My aim is for people to 
go, ‘Oh, that's Yola-like,’ in the same way they'd say, “That’s Randy Newman-like.”” 


rrington, With thanks to The Dive Motel, Nashville, TN 


music as a latchkey kid who loved ’90s radio. Raised by a single mother in Portishead, near Bristol, she sang 2 


T HAT’S VERY MUCH IN KEEPING WITH HOW YOUNG YOLANDA QUARTEY EXPERIENCED 
along with Brownstone and A Tribe Called Quest as easily as she did Pulp and Blur. But it was a pair of > 5 


38 MOJO 





Yola at The Dive Motel, 
Nashville, May 12, 2021, on 
the road to self-actualisation: 
“I'm going to learn something 
in every environment that I’m 
in, then use that to identify 
the things that I’m born to.” . 








Jim Herrington, Getty (5) 








<< vintage LPs that helped unlock her voice. 

"There was a compilation album of Ella 
Fitzgerald, and I sang my way from top to bot- 
tom," she says, in an accent more southern 
English than West Country. *I can still sing the 
whole record in sequence, to this day. It was so 
playful. Ella had surprising amounts of gravel 
for someone that was smooth. When you hear 
her sing Sunshine Of Your Love with a big band, 
it's just sublime." 





'The other record was Aretha Franklin's 
1972 epic, Young, Gifted And Black. “That was so important,” she 
says, “because I'd never heard a record addressed to me before so 
specifically, growing up in England where black people are even 
more of a minority." 

Music was also her escape from a difficult home situation. *My 
mother had all the traits of a clinical psychopath, bar the actual 
murder list," Yola says. *That did exist, but she just never did it 
(laughs). She’d sleep with a gun under her pillow. She was ready to 
go, you know? I didn't have the luxury of time to just have this kid's 
life. I had to friggin' snap the fuck out of it, day one, and be on. 
Having to develop a little quicker, you get the ability to be able to 
think on your feet." 

By the time she was 14, Yola had her first gig, singing standards 
with a jazz band in Bristol. It was the start of a de de анаа Яе 
apprenticeship that found her top-lining for London DJs, touring 
with broken beats collective Bugz In The Attic and, in 2008, front- 
ing fellow Bristolians Massive Attack. 

“No matter what I was involved in, I always kept something back 
for the eventuality of doing my own thing,” she says. “I would think, 
‘OK, I’m going to learn something’ in every environment that I find 
myself in, then I'll use that to identify the things that I’m born to.’ 

She refrained from putting her name to a solo project, despite 
many offers. “It’s easy to get hoodwinked into doing something that 
doesn’t represent musically what you want to put forward,” she says. 

Massive Attack is a prime example. Listening to live clips of her 
sing lead with the band, you can hear her dialling down her vocal 
wattage to a polite whisper. “They’re minimalists. Everyone knows 


40 MOJO 






Standing for herself: (clockwise from top left) Yolanda 
Quartey with Phantom Limb, December 2011; The Dive 
Motel, Nashville, May 2021; with Smokey Robinson 

at the 62nd Grammys, LA, January 2020; her albums; 
on-stage at Glastonbury with Massive Attack, 2008; 
(opposite, main) in Amsterdam, November 12, 2019; (insets) 
Sister Rosetta Tharpe; with Dan Auerbach, Nashville, 2019. 


minimalism is a big part of their aesthetic and what 
makes their music beautiful. But if you listen to my 
records, you might notice, I’m a maximalist! (laughs)” 

It should be noted that Yola’s laugh is also maximal 





—an aisle-rolling blast of bawdy mirth that she freely 
unleashes. It’s the laugh of someone who’s come out the other side 
of some dark times — in her case, a brief spell of homelessness, a 
house fire, and two interludes where she stopped singing. 

“The first hiatus, for a year and a half, was forced, because of 
having vocal nodes,” she says. “The second, my mother was dying.” 

The latter break allowed her to recalibrate her path forward. 
“The time with my mother gave me a line in the sand. I thought, 
‘Tve got to put the jetpack on and live my best life!’ It's hard to go 
out on your own and use none of the contacts you ever had and find 
an environment that’s going to allow you, as a black woman in 
England, to self-actualise.” 


N 2010, YOLA VISITED NASHVILLE FOR THE FIRST 
time, and it was love at first collaboration. “It’s been a magic 
place for me,” she says. “A mix of socialising and work, and 
serendipitous bumping into people on the street that spark 
different conversations.” 

Her publisher was sending her on regular writing trips to Los 
Angeles and New York, to network and plant seeds for a solo 
recording career. While the bigger cities allowed her to work with 
big names, including Katy Perry, it was Nashville that won her over. 

“In LA, I found it hard to feel like I was ever in something. New 
York, I definitely felt like I was in something, but it’s almost too much 
of something (laughs). The balance is in Nashville, where you're in 
something, but there's space and perspective to see what you're in." 

After briefly fronting UK Americana band Phantom Limb (416 
was a bit too bro," she says), she started writing with Dan Auerbach. 









The Black Keys' frontman produced her 
2019 solo debut, Walk Through Fire, 
enlisting an all-star team of session cats 
and legends of soul songcraft such as 
John Bettis and Dan Penn. Even in such 
exalted company, Auerbach was eager 
for Yola to assert her personality. 

*With some of the co-writes, it was 
almost like Dan wanted to see my face 
more,” she says with a laugh. “But T'dbe 
like, ‘Buddy, are you kidding me?!” 

For Stand For Myself, they assembled 
a larger — and younger — pool of collab- 
orators, including Jack White backing 
singer Ruby Amanfu and neo-soft 
rocker Aaron Lee Tasjan, whose recent 
Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan! long-player was 
championed by Elton John. “There 
were things that I could talk about more 

easily,” says Yola. The result was songs 
that touched on isolation and difficult 
family dynamics, while effervescent lead 
single Diamond Studded Shoes may be 
the chooglin’est song about economic 
divisions we’ll hear in 2021. 

“It’s important to be in spaces where 
there’s more than one woman, where 
there’s more than one person of colour, 
where there are people from different 
backgrounds and sexual persuasions,” 
Yola says. “You have people delivering 
their understanding of otherness. That 
added so much richness to the record.” 

As did Yola’s first major extracurric- 
ular project, playing Sister Rosetta 
Tharpe in Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming 
Elvis biopic, untitled as MOJO went to 
press. “First, I thought it would just be 


“SHE'S UNAFRAID TO 
TELL 


Producer and Black Key Dan 
Auerbach on the wonder of Yola. 


“WE FIRST metin a co-writing session. | was immedi- 
ately impressed with her voice and the ease with which 
we were able tocome up with songs together. She’s 
unafraid to tell her story and get personal. She’s very 
instinctual. Sometimes, with ап artist, you run into a 
bunch of traffic, like something's holding them back. 
With Yola, it’s always forward momentum. 

“The big change for this album is that she went 
from not really touring to making a living touring. 
Naturally, you start to want to have songs that play to 
bigger rooms - more uptempo, dance-y things. She's 
greatin the studio. I've never worked with a singer 
who knewso much about her vocal cords (laughs). 
Also, |havea lot of vintage gear at Easy Eye, which 
complements the timeless thing she does. We 
recorded during the pandemic, but it was еа5у- 
tested every morning, and kept itto three or four 
people in the building at a time. Looking ahead, I'll 
always be here to aid Yola in whatever capacity she 
needs from me. That's what my job is. Step in when 
Ineedto, step out when І need to. Sofar things һауе 
been going swimmingly." 

AstoldtoBill DeMain 


I DIDN'T HAVE 
THE LUXURY 
OF THIS KID'S 
LIFE." 





really powerful to represent a creator of 
says Yola. "And that 
was like, no pressure, right? (laughs) But 


rock'n'roll music," 


it was transformative almost for the 
opposite reason that I expected. Not for 
what it's saying to the world, but what it 
said to me as an artist of colour." 

Yola's career quandary — where to go 
after a well-received debut that could 
nonetheless have defined her limits as 
a retro-soul stylist — was challenged by 
her brush with Thar ре. 

"This role said you can keep on 
growing, you can be the genesis of 
something massive," she says. "Just 
commit and that shit is yours. I felt 
imbued with that when it came time to 
do this record. I felt like Га been 
immersed not only in the birth of 
rock'n'roll but in the definition of self- 
actualisation." 

There's that word again. When 
MOJO jokes that she must be the first 
soul singer ever to reference Abraham 
Maslow more often Aretha, Yola 
laughs. “Self-actualisation is important! 
Because, you know... what else are we 
doing here on this planet?" [M] 


MOJO 41 





ccept 
people’s point of view 
on my music... as long as 
it coincides with mine.” 


БЕР) ҰЯ | Mey, | OOO OA SS 
2222 MM Ac Ac А AS ill Ze 
ү 





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Tearaway Teddy Boy to prog-hating progger in 
rock's least predictable band: firebrand 
ROGER CHBHAPERAB о 
damn the torpedoes. Not the safest career strategy, 
but one that means he rocks stoically on, 60-odd 
. years since he started. “I cant switch my mind 

off from creating,’ he tells. 
o RIEHABE PUPEARD. 
25 VOR 


fa ASTER MONDAY, APRIL 17, 1960. AS PART OF THE LOCAL BANK 
AS holiday amusement, the Palais De Danse on Humberstone Gate in Leicester is 
holding an afternoon hop. Coming on stage are Palais regulars The Rockin’ Rs, 
| regarded as one of the city’s best rock’n’roll outfits, scrappy but authentic, with an 
intense frontman, 18 years old for just over a week: Roger Chapman. Chapman has 
already established a reputation for tearing through Little Richard, Gene Vincent 
and Fats Domino numbers in blue suede brothel-creepers and a long black drape 
jacket, occasioning one outraged fellow performer to complain to the Palais’ pro- 
moter about his hiring “a dirty old Ted... with a voice like a cheese grater”. 

Galvanised by Fats Domino’ 's Blue Monday aged 14, Chapman began his audio odyssey di 
to the humid New Orleans grooves that jazz players brought to the early R&B records, grooves which 
bubbled up in Memphis behind Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash. When he sang these songs, 
he just let it all out, his timing and tuning naturally good, his tone raw and loud. He impressed at 
local talent contests, until a punter asked] him to join his band, which became The Rockin’ Rs. 

Home was a mess, Chapman's father having left before he was two (Roger and older brother Tony 
had spells in care). Off-stage, he hung with a tough crowd led by Tex (Terence) Brown and Dougie 
Wilcox, two notorious Leicester Teds who, at weekends, would lead sorties to the surrounding > 
villages to duff up their teenaged inhabitants: football hooliganism without the football. ሙ 2 


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44 MOJO 


<< “It was egos on a Friday and Satur- 

day night and then on Sunday everybody 
calmed down and went to the cinema 
with a bird," recalls Chapman. *I became 
the junior division of these older louts. 
Except they weren't really louts, 
they were really intelligent people 
stuck in an environment they 

couldn't get out of." 

Тех” gang introduced Chap- 
man to Hank Williams and rock- — Шү 
abilly and encouraged him to | 
twitch around on-stage like a rope 
made entirely of nerve. By this East- 
er Monday, however, the young singer 
has started to let the Ted look slide, try- 

g 
winkle-pickers, tasty gear purchased 
from Weaver 


ing Italian tailoring, mohair jackets and 


To Wearer in Leicester's 
town centre. As he heads for the stage, 
he is beckoned over by someone. The 
guy whispers in his ear. Chapman looks 
dazed as he wanders out in front of the 
crowd. “Er, I don't know if this is true or 
not, but I just heard that Eddie Cochran 
has been killed in a car crash. This is for him." 
The Rockin’ R's tear into C'Mon Everybody. 


UST A FEW MONTHS LATER, 

Chapman is himself involved in a road 

accident. Unbelted in the back seat, 
the force of the crash rockets him up into 
the car's roof, crushing his neck, cracking 
several vertebrae and dislocating his spine. 
Luckily, his spinal cord is not severed, but he 
has to endure almost two years of hospital 
visits and operations. For some time he is 
encased from head-to-waist in a cast, his 
face peeking out of a plaster-of-Paris port- 
hole, like a diver's helmet. But being a teenager, he wants to con- 
tinue going out and having a good time. Others might have feared 
ridicule, but as wingman to some of the hardest nuts in Leicester, 
Chapman thinks little of it. Indeed, during another night at the Palais 
he is persuaded to take the stage once again. Thus the crowd wit- 
nesses what looks like the ghost of an undersea explorer hollering 
Ray Charles's What'd I Say as if nothing were amiss. 

"That's the music that really got me, that kind of R&B," says 
Chapman, 61 years on, still betrothed to rock music and just about 
to release a new album. “It still sounds really happening to me. Just 
fantastic stuff." 

Leaving school at 15, Chapman, a bright, creative kid, wanted to 
attend art school. *But they said I couldn't, stuck a paint pot in my 
hand and told me to be a decorator,” 
they did that to me has stuck with me for over 60 years." 


he says. ^I hated that. The way 







(Top left) Chapman on-stage in 1966; (above, from left) first 
Family, 1967, Charlie Whitney, Harry Ovenall, Chapman, Ric 
Grech and Jim King; (insets left) inspiring Fats, first single, 
Family albums; (opposite page, from left) Roger the roar 
prepares to lob the mikestand, Alexandra Palace, 1973; Family 
on the Old Grey Whistle Test, 1971 (from left) John Wetton, 
Whitney, Chapman, Rob Townsend, John ‘Poli’ Palmer. 


At 19, getting his 17-year-old girlfriend pregnant 
meant a shotgun: wedding and a life mapped out like a 
kitchen-sink tragedy: But the ር car accident had generated 
some insurance money, £2,000 — twice the average annual 
salary then — held in trust until he turned 21. Thus, on his 
21st birthday, April 8, 1963, Chapman announced he 
wouldn't be clocking on any more but would be turning pro 
asa musician. He joined local band The Strollers, among them teen 
bassist Ric Grech, and turned them into The X-Citers, drawinga set 
from songs by Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters and the music coming 
out on UK import label, Sue. This made The X-Citers one of the 
most forward-facing bands in Leicester, if not the country, and 
Chapman was soon spotted by a resourceful manager, Reg Calvert, 
who invited The X-Citers to join his stable of all the talents — The 
Fortunes, Screaming Lord Sutch — housed at Clifton Hall, a former 
stately home near Rugby. Chapman was renamed Jimmy Stephens 
and his band became The Jackpots. 


T DIDN’T TAKE LONG FOR CHAPMAN TO REALISE THAT 
the packaged-pop life wasn't for him and that Calvert was the 
only one likely to benefit from the whole charade. (Calvert was 
shot dead in 1966 in a dispute with a rival pirate radio entrepre- 





neur). He retreated back to Leicester where Ric Grech had joined 


James King And The Farinas, who impressed Chapman with their 
homespun arrangements of Motown and R&B songs. Grech 
thought Chapman should join. Quirky frontman Jim King wanted 
to de elop his sax playing, so a deal was struck whereby С һартап 
could join if he bought a sax and taught himself to play. He and King 
would join together for brass riffs and then take turns singing. 

The band was good and London beckoned. They changed their 
name to The Roaring Sixties and adopted a kind of 40s | gangster 
look, wearing second-hand demob suits. Turning up dressed this 
way ata recording session with producer Kim F ‘owley, the American 
said they looked like “the I ‘amily”, meaning the Mafia. The others 
thought that would be a better name for the band. C hapman 
thought it was a stupid idea, but The Family they became. 

The band’s new manager, John Gilbert, hustled them a deal with 
Liberty for one single, Scene Through The Eye Of A Lens, released 
in October 1967. Gilbert also made the unusual management deci- 
sion to initiate Chapman and King into LSD by slipping a tab in a 
bottle of champagne at a trendy Italian restaurant. “John was quite 
scared of me because I could be firm. Let's put it that way: not ag- 
gressive, firm," says Chapman. “1 didn't agree with people telling 
me what to do. May be the acid was his way of softening me up a bit 
so he could order me about!” 

Subsequently, Motown and mohair were out and multicoloured 
threads and joss-sticks were in, an overnight revamp of the stage act 
which briefly confused hometown fans but made Family prime can- 
didates for gigs at London's ‘underground’ venues. They quickly 
became a name to drop. Beatles and Stones came to watch them 
play. That reaction enabled Gilbert to score Family a very lucrative 
worldwide deal with American label Reprise. 

With the same carefree spirit that he’d brought to his singing 
from the start, Chapman started improvising words over the com- 
plex chord sequences brought to him by double-necked guitarist 
John ‘Charlie’ Whitney. “We just did it quite naturally,’ ” recalls 
Chapman. “Some of the guys were influenced by jazz, me ‘mainly by 
rock. It just came together. I can’t say we ever tried to be anything 


or do anything. We just wrote these songs, and did them the way we 
liked them.” 

On Family's debut album, July 1968's Music In A Doll’s House they 
were playing to the gallery of the underground circuit, but second 
album Family Entertainment, released nine months later, was some- 
thing else, a thoroughly original mash-up of their origins, with 
(2 hapman writing lyrics about life's tapestry on future hit singe" Ihe 
Weaver's Answer, complete with jazzy sax solo and Leslie-d guitars. 
One of Ric Grech's songs asked whether Chinese communist leader 
Zhou Enlai ever got high. Charlie Whitney wrote an evocative instru- 
mental harking back to the Summer Of '67 and Processions, a song 
about a kid building sandcastles and dreaming of his future. But the 
band were annoyed. when Gilbert mixed the record while they toured 
and credited himself as co- producer (with Glyn Johns). C hapman 
particularly disliked the chirping woodwinds on Hung Up Down, 
even though they'd been arranged by an uncredited John Barry. 


PART FROM MAKING A NOISE AND SEEING IF 
anyone liked it, there was barely any logic to Family's plan. 
For a start, Chapman: s voice was like no other in rock. Vari- 
ously described as “hircine”, “eye-watering”, “unforgettable” and 
“quite extraordinary to be in a room with”, its considerable volume, 
sandpapered tone and emphatic vibrato was strong meat in this 
time before heavy metal. Furthermore, his street Қ-н dened side 
emerged in an electrifying stage act, thumping and splintering hap- 
less tambourines, destroying mikestands and generally losing himself 
in his work. It got the band a reputation for being a wild night out. 
Ric Grech wondered aloud in the press as they prepared to visit the 
US for the first time, in April 1969: “I worry that [the Americans] 
are going to flip when they see Roger on-stage, 'ር05 he’s so violent.” 
That American tour was not a success. Soon after they arrived, 
the band were informed that Grech had been poached by Eric Clap- 
ton and Steve Winwood for their new supergroup, Blind Faith. For- 
mer Animals man John Weider was hastily drafted in. Chapman’s 
performing style, possibly exacerbated by his frustration at the sud- 
den рег sonnel change, did indeed freak out some crowds and >> 


MOJO 45 





MUSIC IN A DOLLS HOUSE 





(Reprise, 1968) 

A Brit-psych classic, establishing the 
bandasunusual, inventive writers 
andtheirsingerasaone-off who 
could do sinister, stirring or soulful 
asthefancy took him. Comes with 
strings arranged by a young Mike 
Batt (his first gig) and a cameo from 
Britjazz legend Tubby Hayes. 


FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT 
እ] 





(Reprise, 1969) 

Opening with the meandering 
folk-jazz of The Weaver's Answer, 
some argue this record is the 
birthplace of progressive rock, such 
isthe invention and vision on show 
in unusual songs by Chapman, 
Whitney and soon-to-depart bass, 
violinand voice man Ric Grech, each 
trackbang on trend and trying 
something new with theform. 


Family portrait, 1968 
(from left) Chapman, 
Whitney, King (seated), 
Townsend, Grech. 


(Reprise, 1972) 


Still refusing to do 
what's expected, 
Family find their 
best-ever filthy 
groove in hit 
single Burlesque, 
sound oddly like 
theirfollowers Genesis on Corona- 
tion, write an acoustic classicin My 
Friend The Sun, and close оп а career 
high with Top Of The Hill. Their label 
dropped them soon after its release. 





(Vertigo, 1976) 

Chapman and 
Whitney join 
forces with world 
class players 
Bobby Tench, Jon 
Plotel and Nicko 
McBrain, for 
tight-but-loose rock with added 
swamp:theloping Me And MeHorse 
And Me Rum; added boogie: Daddy 
Rolling Stone; or added strings:the 
widescreen Decadence Code. A 
confident album as unclassifiable as 
anything Family ever recorded. 


(Acrobat, 1979) 


Guided by 
producer David 
Courtney, 
Chapman andtop 
| f session players 
deliver a lighter, 
Бие 22: Ёз more focused and 
accessible workthan usual, including 
hisown bluesy staple Moth To A 
Flame and standards picked to show 
offhis soulful chops - Tim Hardin's 
evergreen Hang On To A Dream and 
Leiber & Stoller's Keep Forgettin’. Its 
success abroad means he's been 
pointing that way ever since. 





critics. It also summoned the hair-triggered wrath of promoter 
Bill Graham who, watching from the wings at the Fillmore West, 
was nearly taken out by a mikestand that Chapman carelessly jave- 
linned off stage. Despite subsequent lengthy tours supporting Elton 
John, where significant numbers of Family fans showed up at the 
coastal gigs, ihe band never managed to crack America. 

It was a different story at home. For instance, it was አመመ 
thought that they blew the Stones off stage at Hyde Park in July *6 
“That wasn’t hard,” reckons Chapman today, bursting into w ZY 
laughter. Firmly established at the centre of the London scene, Chap- 
man shared a Fulham flat with roommates Jenny Fabian, a young 
journalist whose controversial novel, Groupie, was known to be based 
on Family’s backstage exploits, and Sam Hutt, a rising rock’n’roll 
doctor later to become UK country singer Hank Wangford. 

By late ’69, Jim King was becoming ever more unpredictable, 
succumbing to a drug habit that made him increasingly hard to ac- 
commodate. Keyboard, flute and vibraphone player, John ‘Poli’ 
Palmer, former drummer with Blossom Toes, was invited to replace 
King, having impressed Family while making a guest appearance 
with, them at the Royal Festival Hall. Third album A Song For Me, was 
released in January 1970, while a remix of fan favourite The Weaver's 
Answer drove the three- -song Strange Band maxi-single to Number 
11 in the charts that August. There was some mumbling about Family 
selling out. Chapman agrees ‘selling out’ is a concept that is irrele- 
vant today. “It was probably irrelevant then, too. To us anyway. You 
had to make money to keep a band together. 

Despite constant line-up instability. — John Weider was let go af- 
ter fourth album Anyway and replaced by melodic young bass player 
and singer, John Wetton — F. amily seemed to be ascending into the 
premier league. The 1971 Melody Maker Readers Poll put them in 
the company of Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Who and Pink 
Floyd, one place above the Stones. Chapman was voted Britain’s 
third best singer, just below Robert Plant and Joe Cocker. In the 
music press, Family were considered prime exponents of progressive 
rock because their songs could go anywhere — loud, quiet, mellow, 
heavy or humorous — but the tag y didn't mean much to the band. 

“То Бе honest, we were never progressive, as it has come (о be 
known," says Chapman, “But there were so many avenues to go 
down. We could be anything from Thelonious Monk to Joni Mitch- 
ell, and everything in between." 

Rousing single In My Own Time climbed to Number 4. Excel- 
lent, extravagantly packaged albums Fearless and Bandstand kept 
them in the charts, But while similarly tough to categorise acts like 
Jethro Tull were becoming household names ar aud the world, 

Family had to be content with reasonable success at home and in 
parts of E urope. When they appeared in Italy, visiting surrealist 

Salvador Dali was photographed holding a gig poster 360 urging 
people to go and see them. 

Chapman says he never resented the more visible successes of his 
peers. *Good luck to anybody who can make it in this profession. 
It's a difficult life for young musicians, just to get through all the 
people who are waiting there with their claws out, you know? We 
didn't have the drive to be fucking giants, anyway. We only had the 
drive to make music. In some ways ‘that’ s derogatory y, but in others 
it’s really quite admirable. My drive is alw ays to beat whoever’s try- 
ing to stop me from doing s something. ዖ 

` Atatime when many bands w оша: go out for £350 a night, Family 
were asking £1,000, and filling the venues. Lack of ambiton wasn’t 
holding them back, but there may have been too much living in the 
moment: “When we went out as Family we were usually stoned out 
of our brains, at least two of us completely and utterly fucking 
gone,” says C hapman. 

Bandstand contained Burlesque, their most accessible rocker in 
a while and a hit single. Yet somehow this supposedly progressive 
band weren’t getting anywhere. Indeed, they were being leap- 
frogged by younger bands they'd influenced, like Genesis and 
Queen. John Wetton left to join King y Crimson and was replaced by 
future Rod Stewart sidekick Jim Cregan. Poli Palmer also bowed 
out, feeling he was drifting apart fom the others and that they’d 
done all they could together. He was replaced by boozy, barrelhouse 


Alamy, Getty, EDE Trott 


Old songs, new songs: 
Chapman on-stage with 
Family in Copenhagen, 
Denmark, 1969; (below) 
Roger now; with new LP. 


piano man ‘Tony Ashton. It was like swapping 
caviar for mince and onions. 

“That’s exactly right,” says Chapman, 
laughing. “By that point we were thinking, 
Let’s just get someone who can stand on the 
stage, play his arse off and make the band 
groove. We were heading in a kind of New 
Orleans direc tion, doing Huey ‘Piano’ Smith 
covers in our set." 

Family's contract with Reprise wasn't 
renewed. Ashton produced 1973's It's Only A 
Movie for new label Raft. Yes it gr ooved, here 
and there, but their new, Faces-style goodtime 
sound wasn't firing anyone's imagination. “It 
didn't take too long for it to bedome really 
boring," Chapman admits today. “We became 
like a fucking pub band. It wasn't inventive any more. 
That's when I said, I've had enough of this." 


AMILY PLAYED A FAREWELL TOUR THAT 

ended, naturally, with two emotional shows in 

Leicester. Chapman and Whitney launched new 
band Streetwalkers aiming, it seemed, at the kind of 
macho, R&B-based rock Paul Rodgers’ new band Bad 
Company would use to fill тайт. Streetwalkers 
did indeed thrive in places which had ignore ed Family, but as Chap- 
man puts it, his homeland “gave me the arse” ‚ Four years in, punk 
and new wave hastened Streetw alkers' end. After 12 years together, 
Chapman and Whitney finally called it quits. 

Chapman remembers being i in a bad place for about 18 months 
after Streetwalkers ended, giving short shrift to several record com- 
panies who approached him to be another Rod Stewart. But a day 
helping out former Love Affair singer Steve Ellis introduced him to 
producer Dave Courtney, which led to a solo album, 1979's Chappo, 
and a solid career mostly focused on Germany, Australia and those 














corners of the world where old school, blues- 
derived rock is still appreciated, a focus Chapman 
pursues to this day, despite several farewell gigs in 
the last decade. “Гуе had quite a few of those," he 
laughs. *But what else am I going to do? Sit at 
home all day and do nothing? I can't switch my 
mind off from cr eating. Pm alw ays writing songs.” 

His new album has reunited him with Poli 

almer. The former Family vibes man produced 
Life In The Pond between his home studio in Mal- 
vern and visits to Chapman in Sheen, south-west 

London. Chapman enjoyed the process and is 

clearly thrilled with the result. Amazingly, at 79, 

his voice is holding up, though it's perhaps not 

quite as huge as it once was. *When I was 
= young, I had 300 per cent. Now, it's down to 
about 90 per cent," he reckons. 

Palmer, who has known Chapman for over 
60 years, shared a flat with him for several of 
those and joined Family primarily because he 
loved his singing, knows that music still means 


2%; ንም © the world to his old mate. 
ዝረ oM. | ( 
2 à ШЫ. 


“Underneath it all, Roger’s an old softie,” 
he says affectionately. “But he admits it himself, 
if he hadn't joined a band he'd have ended up in jail. He'd have been 
a lost soul without music. Discovering American blues was a life- 
saver to him. He's not going to stop doing it now." 

Chapman, meanwhile, harbours no illusions about his place in 
the music universe or his reasons for continuing. “1 don't profess to 
be a fucking star. I just get on a stage and sing things I like. I'm not 
Ta it fora anybody else. I’m selfish like that.” 

e pauses. “I will accept other people’s point of view on my 
E .. As long as it coincides with mine!” 
The wheezy laugh says the rest. C’mon everybody. [M] 


MOJO 47 


VIOLENT 
FEMMES 
BLISTER IN 
THE SUN 


Alive from 1981, Milwaukee’s naive 
folk-punks exulted in Sun Ra- 

inspired theatrics while playing መ 
high school hotshot Gordon 
Gano's songs of sex and 
longing. After a happy 
busking encounter with 

the Pretenders, their 1983 
debut album blew minds 
апа found cult acclaim. 
But internal frictions, 
plus the influence of 
Jesus and murder 
ballads ор гооїѕу 
second LP Hallowed 
Ground, were looming. 
“They had that free- 
jazz, wild energy,” 567 „9 
say the band and 2E, 
their intimates. Ж; 
“But selfishness was х Н р, 
coming to ahead.” © 















, 
4 
У", 


Interviews by MARTIN ASTON 4 
Portrait by PAUL NATKIN * #7 


Kinky Aggro: Violent Femmes 
cavort outside Tuts venue, 
Chicago, June 30, 1983 (from 
left) Gordon Gano, Victor 
DeLorenzo, Brian Ritchie. 


E Y 








Victor DeLorenzo: Brian [Ritchie, 
bassist] and | were working as a 
rhythm section, which Brian had 
named Violent Femmes, backing 
various Milwaukee musicians. 


Brian Ritchie: | was a first-genera- 
tion punk but I'd played in a big 
band at school, then jazz, polka and 
neo-psychedelia, which seems weird 
butitfamiliarised me with alot of 
different styles. One guy we backed 
was areal railway hobo, Doorway 
Dave. Victor wastouring with a 
theatre group in Europe when | 
met Gordon. A friend said І had to 
check out this “pint-sized Lou Reed 
imitator” who wrote his own songs. 


Gordon Gano: My father played 
guitar and sang, sometimes country 
songs, and given he was a Baptist 
minister, there were church songs 
too. My brother got me into punk and 
the Velvets. When | was 15, he took 
meto see Johnny Thunders and 

The Heartbreakers, still the greatest 
rock'n'roll experience of my life. 


BR: Gordon was amazing. He 
had lots of energy and was pretty 
out there, especially fora high 
school student. 


GG: At high school, | was considered 
peculiar. People wanted to beat 
me up, but didn't. | was shy, > 


MOJO 49 


System Of A Dressing Gown: 
clockwise from main (from 
left) Ritchie, DeLorenzo and 
Gano play on the streets 

in Chicago; backstage іп 

"84 with saxman Peter 
Balestrieri (right); Gano 

and Ritchie on-stage; the 
Hallowed Ground and Violent 
Femmes long-players. 


< combined witha willingness to 
stand out. | started wearing a bathrobe 
over my clothes to school every 
Monday, like, “You got me out of bed 
for this?” But I also liked sport and 
going to church. 


VDL: Coming from The Velvet 
Underground and other esoterica 
in jazzand country, | appreciated 
theuniqueness of Gordon's writing, 
aboutthe adolescent condition, 

in a clear-cut, emotional way. It 
wasn't autobiographical, but he let 
you into little secrets. | think we kept 
the jewels [sic] of our personalities 
hidden, which led to problems later 
on, but initially it made for a quirky 
collection of individuals. 


BR: We practised in Victor's basement, 
and rarely saw sunlight, sol wanted to 
take it out on the street, as Victor and | 
had done with Doorway Dave, and we 
convinced Gordon totry it. Playing 
acoustically too was better for the 
music, because it let out Gordon’s 
refined lyrics and excellent storytelling. 


GG: I'd have probably gone for two 
electric guitars, bass and drums, but 
Brian and Victor brought in different 
kinds of instruments and a way of 
playing that was essential to how the 
band sounded.. 


VDL: I'd studied drums with a 
contemporary of Buddy Rich, who 
taught methe beauty of playing with 
brushes. After | met Brian, | adapted my 
style to play standing up. | soon added 
what called the Tranceophone, a com- 
bined metal basket and а floor tom, 
with a "ping" and a "thump" amongst 
its distinctive sounds. But getting 
shows was hard - clubs in Milwaukee 
were geared toward hair metal. 


Paul Natkin/Getty, Getty, David Carol/Retna/Avalon (2), Avalon (2), Courtesy John Kruth 


50 MOJO 





Gordon Gano 
(singer/guitarist) 


4 
М ኻ 
ў. 
he 
Brian Ritchie 
(bassist) 


ሰ 


Victor DeLorenzo 
(drummer) 


F 


Mark Van Hecke 
(producer) 


© 


Peter Balestrieri 
(saxophonist) 


John Kruth 
(multi-instrumen- 
talist associate of 
the band) 








Geoff Travis 
(Rough Trade label 
founder) 











VDL: Brian had this giant Mariachi bass 
and had my snare. One afternoon, we 
busked under the marquee of the 
Oriental Theatre where the Pretenders 
were playing [August 23, 1981]. 


GG: [Guitarist] James Honeyman-Scott 
had gone out to the drugstore and 
heard us. Chrissie Hynde said we could 
play a few songs between the support 
actand them. 


VDL: Depends on who youask, we 
went down very well, or horribly. 
Half the audience, anyway, had seen 
us busking and probably thought, 
“Hey, these weird psychedelic 
farmers, purveyors of folk-punk, are 
legit now!” But the next day, we were 
still busking. 


Peter Balestrieri: | was working at The 
Jazz Gallery club in Milwaukee, where 
Violent Femmes really began, on 
Tuesday nights when there were no 
jazz bookings. The thing | noticed was 
the crowd were all women, on their 
feet, mouthing every word. never 
really understood it, except that the 
band had an androgynous look. 
Gordon and Vincent had a habit of 
wearing their mother's accessories, 
like long gloves or a fox stole, and 
Brian wore long drop earrings. They 
were hammy and theatrical, talking 

to each other and goofing around. 


John Kruth: | was living in New York 
City. A friend from Milwaukee called 
and said, “You gotta see this band, 
they'll wipe you out." | hadn't seen a 
band like that since The Who or The 
Doors, in that you just didn't know 
what would happen. A riot could have 
broken out, or people would be having 
sex. Afterwards, | told Brian! played 
mandolin, banjo, flute and harmonica, 





and the next night | was on-stage at Columbia 
University with them. They had that free jazz, 
wild energy about them. 


GG: I had no familiarity with jazz and improvisa- 
tion until | met Brian and Victor. Victor would 
tell me to see someone like Art Blakey, Sun Ra 
became a huge influence on us, from the spirit 
of improv to staging a total show, marching in 
through the audience or leaving that way. 


PB: The band asked if I'd jam with them оп sax. 
After their road manager said he'd never tour 
with them again, | became road manager too. 
They each had very strong personalities, which 
clashed a lot. But the magic of their shows would 
overcome whatever was going on. And they'd 
play long setstoo, 90 minutes or more. 


Mark Van Hecke: Victor was ап actor with 
Theatre X, an experimental theatre company 
that | wrote music for. He always asked me to 
hear his bands. The first three with Brian were 
bad! But saw Violent Femmes, ina laundromat 
basement, and really enjoyed it. It was almost 
a performance piece, but with these nifty, quirky 
songs, not too far off Elvis Costello's approach. 
lasked them if they wanted to recordademo 
in my back bedroom studio: they recorded 
Waiting For The Bus, Kiss Off and what became 
their signature song, Blister In The Sun. Travelling 
to LAand New York for work, | dropped off 
cassettes to labels, but no one responded. 
| said we should record an album, for posterity, 
[of] this ragtag band that played on street 
corners, quite confrontationally, blasting 
away on their acoustic instruments as people 
were buying their groceries, and hopefully 
teenagers for generations would get off 
onthese songs. 


VDL: We borrowed $10,000 from my father and 
made the album at the old Playboy club that had 
become a studio [in July 1982]. Each new session, 
another piece of gear was missing. We later 
foundoutthatthe studio was going bust, hence 
the gear being sold, and the engineer was in fact 


WROTE HIS BEST SONGS 
WHEN HE WAS A VIRGIN!” 


the janitor. He's got to be the only janitor with a 
platinum record to his credit. 


GG: The album reached Alan Betrock at New York 
Rocker [magazine], who managed to get us two 
gigs. One was opening for Richard Hell & The 
Voidoids at The Bottom Line. The New York Times 
ran a review and that led to Slash signing us. 
They were the only label to say we didn’t need 
to re-record anything, or pick certain songs. 

| have to give Brian credit, because he said, 
“We have all these different songs, let's not go all 
over the place, let's keep it more of a rock album.” 
In any case, Brian especially was down on my 
gospel songs, and didn't want to record them. 


JK: Nobody was paying attention to lyrics at that 
time, but Gordon's just stood out.| mean, "Why 
can’t| get just one fuck?” "What do | have to do, 
to prove my love to you?" This little pipsqueak, 
giving it everything he had, driven further by this 
maniac rhythm section. Brian told me, "Gordon 
wrote his best songs when he was a virgin!" 


PB: Eventually, the girls brought their boyfriends 
tothe shows, and the audiences just kept 
growing. College radio played the living hell out 
ofthealbum [released April 1983], and Slash 
worked their asses offto promote it. 


Geoff Travis: Slash licensed the album to Rough 
Trade for the UK. It was an amazing, original 
record, using the punk template of freedom and 
adventurousness but turned on its head, similar 
to the way The Modern Lovers did. There was а 
skiffle-y sound, but not retro, like Blister In The 
Sun, an all-time classic with an all-time classic riff. 


GG: Blister In The Sun was actually written fora 
woman |'] met at a poetry reading. She wanted 
to forma band like The Plasmatics, and maybe I'd 
play guitar, and | wanted a song I could offer. But 
the rehearsal got cancelled and | never heard 
from her again. | hear she joined a cult and 
moved to Canada. 


JK: [June 1984's second album] Hallowed Ground 
was a very different experience to the first album, 


‘GORDON 


more American roots 
music, like Country 
Death Song and It's Gonna 
Rain, which was gospel. The 
first album blew the door 
open energy-wise, but 
Hallowed Ground showed 
Gordon really developing. 


BR: Hallowed Ground was 
one ofthefirst albums in 
what we now call Americana. 
But we weren't coming from 
arevivalist standpoint. We 
didn't sound like Muddy Waters. 


VDL: Gordon'sreligious side cameto thefore 
then. Coming from a theatrical background, | was 
used to controversial material, but Brian was a 
bona fide atheist. 


MVH: The band were in trouble. Gordon was 
being stand-offish, and just wanted to be with his 
girlfriend. Brian, who was a difficult personality, 
was demeaning to the others. He said to Gordon, 
“How can you be doing all these sex-type songs 
and yet you're totally religious? | don't get it!" 


GG: Brian changed his mind about the gospel 
stuff because it appealed from a punk-contrarian 
perspective – to play a Sunday-school song in a 
punk club. Some people who loved the first album 
didn'tlove Hallowed Ground because they didn't 
like country, jazz, gospel and Christian lyrics. 


GT: | remember being disturbed by some of 
Gordon's lyrics, the brute aggressiveness of the 
sentiments. But | also accepted that it was the 
point of them. 


JK: Asong like Black Girls pushed buttons for 
people, but Gordon liked black girls and they 
liked him - he ended up marrying one. Gordon 
always addressed taboos; that was part of what 
was great about his writing, and you had to think 
about who you were. 


GG: It neveroccurred to methat Country Death 
Song [man kills his family before hanging 









himself] was risky. It's like 
atraditional ballad, a form 
that goes back hundreds 

of years. Black Girls got 
negative feedback too, but 
the lyrics are so stupid and 
crazy that it works. We’d 
have quit playing Black Girls 
live, butit lets us stretch out 
and improvise, and 
audiences love it. 


VDL: When we started 
making money, we began 
touring as an electric and acoustic unit. | liked 
change; | didn't want to be known for just one 
thing... [but] we all had completely compart- 
mentalised conceptions about what the music 
should be. Gordon wanted to concentrate more 
on country and Brian was getting fed up with 
limited chord structures. But selfishness was 
coming to a head. | left in 1993. 


PB:Some say Victor was let go. You can always 
finda better musician, but Victor's playing had 
helped get them where they did. Violent 
Femmes weren't about being professional like 
that, butas they played bigger places, theirfans 
replaced those who were drawn to the chaos of 
the early days. 


GG: For along time, there was a lot of negativity, 
to the point of being sued [by Ritchie in 2007, 
when Gano licensed Blister In The Sun to Wendy's 
Hamburgers]. It doesn't feel like that any more, 
though it took 40 years! Brian and l are still 
together. Violent Femmes might not be the 
same band as when we started, but we're still 
doing something special. 


ВВ: I'm proud ofthe way Violent Femmes staked 
out our own turf, and that nobody to this day 
sounds similar to us, or that anyone influenced by 
us has surpassed us. Not many bands who've 
been around for 40 years can say that. [M] 





Violent Femmes best-of Add It Up (1981—1993) is 
reissued by Craft Recordings. 


MOJO 51 





of 

ice 
ano 
fire 


pin-up, muse, lover, junkie, goddess - the legend of NICO 
has been defined by those who would deny her creative agency. 
inthis extract from her new book, jennifer otter bickerdike 
reveals nico the artist, born of a bitter split from the velvet 
underground and a fateful fling with the doors’ jim morrison, and forged 
in the crucible of her extraordinary second album, the marble index. 


portrait by guy webster. 


HRISTA PAFFGEN’S LIFE WAS EXTRAORDINARY FROM THE START. BORN ON OCTOBER 

16, 1938 in Cologne, Germany, she spent time in a brutal orphanage. After the war, which claimed the 

life of her father, Willi, she moved with her mother Grete to Berlin, where the daughter's unusual 

height and razor cheekbones gained her entry to the fashion world. Soon she was the star of striking 

covers of Elle and Vogue magazines, and photographer Herbert Tobias suggested a name change: Nico. 

After a role in Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita made her an icon at 22, and affairs with Alain Delon 

— resulting in the birth of a son, Ari, in August 1962 — and Bob Dylan, a pattern established: Nico, seemingly aloof, 

coldly beautiful, would be constantly chased, a prize to be won but not always cherished. Falling in with Andy 

Warhol's Factory set in New York, she was recruited to front The Velvet Underground. But as we join her in mid-1967, 
the alliance is crumbling and a Nico solo album — Chelsea Girl — in a baroque folk style with songs by various Velvets, | 
Dylan and her sometime accompanist, Jackson Browne — is in the can. Meanwhile, Warhol’s most celebrated art 2 
movie yet, Chelsea Girls, also features Nico — the jewel in his crown of so-called ‘Superstars’. 
But Nico is chafing at the pigeonholes that her mentors are constructing, and struggling ፳ 





M Archi 


Child of the moon: 


Nico during the to find ways to support her ailing mother, sequestered in Ibiza, while Ari’s future — bohemian 2 
sover shoot for globetrotting with Nico, or settled in Paris with Delon’s mother Edith Boulogne — is in 5 
Los Angeles, 1968. dispute. And Nico is about to meet someone who will turn everything upside-down... 295 


MOJO 53 


This year’s model: Nico оп a 1960 Paris fashion shoot; (ri 
on-set filming La Dolce Vita with director Federico Fe 

and co-star Marcello Mastroianni; (insets, below) the Elle and 
Woman’s Own cover star; Factory products: Andy Warhol’s 
Fuck; Nico sings with The Velvet Undergound; Chelsea Girls. 


HERE ARE TWO VERSIONS OF THE 
circumstances that brought Nico and 

Jim Morrison together. Morrison had 
already seen the chanteuse perform with 
the Velvets at their ? May 1966 show at The Trip in Los Angeles, 
though they did not connect properly until the following year. 
Morrison’ s Doors bandmate, drummer John Densmore, 
thought that it was in March 1967 when the duo first met. The 
band was in New York and could not help but notice the 
20-foot-high Nico posters pasted up all over Manhattan. 

“We were staying at the dumpy Great Northern Hotel on 
57th Street 
place smelled of old people. I was rooming right next to Jim, 


,” recalled Densmore. “Convenient location, but the 
አጋ ж 
which turned out to be better than TV. Jim brought Nico back > 


to his hotel room, and I'd never heard such crashing around. It 
Е АЛ, CARRICK ТЕАТР 


ወ Now ANDY WARHOL 


sounded as if they were beating the shit out — 





ANDY WARHOL 
PRESENTS ws 


Nico ሰ 


SINGING TO THE SOUNDS OF 
The Velvet 


Undergrou 
АТ THE UNDERGROUND BAR AT ነ 


THE NEW 
MOD-DOM 


777210 


of each other. І was worried but never 





dared to ask what happened. Nico looked 
OK the next day, so I let it slide." 

'The more well-known account of how 
the two icons first met places the timeline 
as June or July 1967. After the Monterey 
Pop Festival, Nico decided to go back to 











the Castle, the gothic musicians’ haunt in 


Los Feliz that had harboured the Velvets, 
| 22 sr. MARICS PLACE 








T маем іа CR 


' 





Атмлию® RIT Y ፻፪6፪፻፣ її 


Dylan and others. It was here that Danny 
Fields — working for The Doors' label 
Elektra and Nico's friend since 1963 — decided to 
play cupid. “I had a little electric light bulb in my head. 
I said, ‘Say, Jim, I’m staying with Edie Sedgwick and 
Nico, up in the Һ I thought I would bring him up 
there, and then he would fall in love with Nico.” 

Fields recalled what happened when he and Morri- 


nages, Alamy 


son arrived at the Castle: “We finally got up to the house 
and Nico was standing in the doorway. He just looked 
at her, and she looked at him, and then they both cast 
their glances downward. They stared at some imaginary 
‚ spot on the floor in between them. This was some kind 





(4), Вгійдетаі 








Gett 


of thing they were acting out. I came back about an hour 


54 MOJO 






HOW TO 
MANAGE 
YOUR MAN later; they were still in the exact 
they 


. they hadn’t said any thing. This 





same positions, hadn’t 
moved.. 


was their way of ac -knowledging ‘You’ re 


Sus 

a beautiful, special person,’ I suppose.” 
After an evening of heavy drug con- 
sumption by Morrison, Nico, Sedgwick 
and himself, Fields eventually fell asleep, 
only to be awoken by the sound of Nico 
sobbing. Rushing to ‘his window, he saw 
“Jim and Nico standing there under the 
full moon in the courtyard. Jim was pull- 
ing Nico’s hair and she was screaming. He 

። ። 
never said anything. He just kept pulling 
) g 8 
her hair. Suddenly he ran into the house 
and left Nico weeping in her deep voice. 
Next thing I know, Morrison is completely 
naked, walking along the edge of the crenelated roof. 
8 £ 8 

Nico came flying into my room crying, 
to kill me! 
Leave me alone, I’m trying to sleep. 


*He's going 


I said, “Не? not going to kill anyone. 


i» 

Nico's affair with Morri ison would prove volatile 
and intense. But unlike her former beaus, Morrison 
encouraged Nico to write her own music. *He was 
the first man I was in love with, because he was 
affectionate to my looks and my mind," Nico 
later remarked. *He told me to write songs. 
I never thought that I could." 

Morrison suggested that Nico begin writing 
down her dreams and to read Céline, Blake and 
Coleridge. Not long after, she composed her 
first song, Lawns Of Dawns. 

At other times, the pair would drive, alone, 
from Los Angeles into the outlying desert, gath- 
ering peyote. 
Nico remembered 


*We had visions in the eset 

. “It is like William Blake; ከር 
would see visions like Blake did, angels in trees, 
he would see these, and so would I. And Jim 
showed me that this is what a poet does." 


"he was the first man i was in love with. 
he told me to write songs. i never thought 
that i could." nico on Jin ri 


All tomorrow’s parties: with The Velvet 
Underground (from left) Nico, Sterling 
Morrison, Maureen Tucker, Lou Reed, 
John Cale, Los Angeles, 1966; (above 
right, clockwise) Jim Morrison, 1968; 
Nico performs her debut single I’m Not 
Sayin’ on Ready Steady Go!, 1965; at 
Monterey Pop with Brian Jones, 1967. 


ORRISON HAD ALSO PERSUADED NICO THAT SHE 

could play an instrument; she just needed to find one that 

suited her. Following his advice, she bought a harmonium 
in San Francisco while on a promo jaunt for Chelsea Girls, and took 
it back to Manhattan with her. “She would practise it for hours, 
simple things, chords — really annoying stuff,” recalled flatmate and 
fellow Factory ‘Superstar’ Viva. “She was very serious about it, 
dreadfully serious, like a Nazi organist. She’ d pull the curtains 
across and light candles around her and do this funereal singing all 
day long. It was like I was living in a funeral parlour.” 

By October, Nico felt ready to make a public appearance as a 
solo artist. Seven nights were booked for her at New York club The 
Scene, a venue she had grac ed before with the Velvets. Chelsea Girl 
was about to come out, and The Village Voice featured ads for the 
gigs and the new album. A picture of a blonde, glum Nico accompa- 
nied the album ad, with the text, *The moon goddess Nico will 
conduct services nightly at Steve Paul's The Scene leading you in all 
your splendour with her liturgical chants." The opening act was 
Californian folk rock band Kaleidoscope. Attendees included the 
Warhol crowd and The Mothers Of Invention. 

"There was only an organ on-stage, and she sat down at it and 
there was one spotlight on | her,” Danny Fields recalled. “It was like 
a child discovering a musical instrument for the first time. She 
would just press one note and bend her ear toward the keyboard 
and listen to it, and press it again and again, and then another note, 
and she’d listen to that. She did this for half an hour, then she tried 
a few combinations of notes and got into that.” 

Yet the moon goddess’s noodling around was not appreciated by 
a majority of the crowd, as “people were starting to file out quietly, 
except for about 12 of us who were just mesmerised, transfixed by 
the whole performance. She finally performed two chants and it 
was over. It was one of the most beautiful things I’d ever seen.” 

Kaleidoscope’s Chris Darrow remembered it differently. “Nico’s 
delivery of her material was very flat, deadpan, and አለ 
and she played as though all of her songs were dirges,” he related in 
Jonathan Eisen's essay г collection, The Age Of Rock 2. *However, 
what happened next is what sticks in my mind the most. ep between 
sets, Frank Zappa got up from his seat and walked up on the stage and 
sat behind Nico's organ. He proceeded to place his hands indiscrim- 





inately on the keyboard in an atonal fashion and screamed at the top 
of his lungs, doing a caricature of Nico's set. The words to his im- 
promptu song were the names of vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, 
asparagus... This ‘song’ kept going for about a minute or so and then 
suddenly stopped. He walked off the stage and the show moved on. It 


was one of the greatest pieces of rock'n'roll theatre I have ever seen!” 


HEN CHELSEA GIRL CAME OUT IN OCTOBER 1967, 
it was a commercial flop, more so than The Velvet Under- 
ground & Nico, though Nico said in later interviews it was 
the only one of her solo LPs to earn any income. “I like the [cover] 
picture, even if it looks sad," she told journalist Kurt Lassen in 
November '67. “Sometimes I’m sad and mostly I like sad songs... 
when I sing I try to imagine I’m all alone, there's nobody out there 
listening. I play with the notes, with the feeling. People tell me that the 
album is good and that it is selling well. I honestly don’t think it is tig 
best I can do. That's why I’m wor rking on another one, a better опе.” 
Promotional efforts once again focused mainly on her looks. In 
a radio advertisement, sent by MGM/Verve to FM stations (and 
later included on a promo- only edition of the record), a voice 
booms, “Nico is beautiful, and in a world where so much can be so 
easily possessed on a whim, over a promise, she's unpossessable." 
Nico rounded out 1967 with a cameo in another Warhol project, 
titled ‘the 24-hour-movie’, then ‘FUCK’, before becoming ****, 


х 





or Four Star for simplicity. Its premiere on December 15 and 16 
was a 25-hour marathon showcasing all 30 sections of the film, with 
the longest part — The Imitation Of Christ, starring Nico — clocking 
in at an eye-watering eight hours. One portion featured shots of the 
docks and streets of Sausalito, California. As flickering images play 
across the screen, Nico provides a dreamy, whimsical narration: 


“А тап is walking on the sea. 

The sea is walking. 

The sea is after me. 

The night grows into the sky. 

The light grows back into the earth.” 


But Nico had already had enough of Warhol's movies. In a 1979 
5 
interview with Kristine McKenna, she said, “I’ve never much > 


MOJO 55 





<< cared for them because I’ve always been in 
. The way he'd always 
come around and want to film me, whether I felt 


opposition to his ideas. . 


like it or not — he was a rapist." 

The last event of 1967 to include The Velvet 
Underground and Nico working in some capacity 
together came before the end. p" the year, with 
the launch party of The Velvet Undergr ound 
Untitled or Index on Decem- 
ber 14 at 457 Madison Ave- 
nue in New York. The project 
consisted of an oversized 
book, packed with irreverent 
and unexpected formatting, 
that perfectly showcases War- 
hol’s multimedia aesthetic. 
Part of the package is an ‘un- 
recorded song’ — almost five 
minutes of conversation 
taped at the Factory between 
Nico, Lou Reed and others 
while they look at copies of Index as The Velvet 
Underground & Nico plays in the background. 


Nico is heard randomly singing the chorus of 
y singing 


The Beatles' Good Morning, Good Morning. 
She sounds zoned out, not completely present. 
It was one of her few documented appearances 
that December. Though Chelsea Girl had been 
out for only a short time, she was visibly absent 
during the promotional rounds. Ап article from 
the December 2 issue of Cashbox magazine de- 
clared, “Elektra’s Danny Fields is in something 
ofa quandary at the moment as he's been trying 
to get in touch with Nico and meeting with no 
success," adding, *Danny says that she's not at 
her old castle any longer. Danny's problem is 
that he's running out of castles." 

Nico's spaced-out audio on Index, com- 
bined with her apparent disappearance, were 
symptoms of an increasing problem: her 
dependency on heroin. 


ICO WAS NO STRANGER TO DRUGS 

before joining The Velvet Underground. 

As a model, she had 
often used diet pills to curb 
her appetite and help main- 
tain a svelte figure. “She 
used to say how there used 
to be lots of speed, lots of 
amphetamine to keep [the 
models] thin; they were al- 
ways handing that out,” says 
her biographer and '80s 
musical collaborator James 
But the double 
standard applied to male 


р 
? Young. 


and female drug users cannot be overstated. For 
many male addicts, substance abuse is part of 
the artistic package and can even lend a level of 
credibility. The label of ‘junkie’ sticks to women, 
: whereas it often seems to bounce off men. 

Still, Nico's fall from recreational user into 


© addiction was a “quick turn", says her longtime friend Clive Crocker. 
“T tried to dissuade her, but she was into heroin... 


her onto it... 


Nico's son Ari — then five years old — thinks there is a correlation 
; between him going to live permanently with the Delon family and 
: his mother’s dependency "She started to take more drugs because 
of this adoption thing," he says. *That made her very sad. ‘Child’s 


56 MOJO 


"Andy Warhol 


I know who put 
but I can’t tell you that name because he’s still alive.” 

































winter 
50105 


nico's '60s albums, 


Jann 


) 
***** 
The Velvet 
Underground 
& Nico 
(Verve, 1967) 
While the Velvets 
would quickly 
resent Andy 
Warhol for foisting 
Nico on them, it’s impossible to 
imagine the band’s epochal debut 
without the extra chill, shadow 
and unAmerican otherness she 
brought to it. And beyond all its 
other qualities, All 
Tomorrow’s Parties’ 
meld of baroque and 
drones would provide 
a path for all Nico’s 
best subsequent work. 


Nico 
*х*х* 


Chelsea Girl 

(Verve, 1967) 

She would disown the 
arrangements 

(especially the flutes) 

but there’s nota lot 

wrong with her solo debut: good 
songs (especially Jackson Browne's 
These Days, debuting here, and 
Dylan's l'Il Keep It With Mine); 
tasteful orchestrations; plus Nico’s 
inimitable graveyard tones, at their 
lugubrious best on Tim Hardin’s 
Eulogy To Lenny Bruce. 


ЖЖЖЖ 
The Marble Index 
(Elektra, 1968) 
Nico’s voice comes 
into its own on her 
bestsoloLP - espe- 
cially commanding 
onthe spooky 
Frozen Warnings 
-while John Cale 
provides horror-folk 
backing. Mark 
Lanegan puts it best 
inane-mailto 
MOJO: “It has more іп common with 
Sylvia Plath than any rock music. It 
pre-dates the goth music it inspired 


by over a decade and existsina 
space all its own. Truly timeless.” 


the whole Warhol crowd,” 


thief’ 


It’s 1 


fered 


the ex 


anoth 





— that’s how she 


called my grandmother. 


ike her 


soul had 


been stabbed.” 
Heroin may have of- 


Nico a way out of 
pectations of others 


as well as relief from yet 


er persona she had 


created in her attempts to 
overhaul her image. Her 
£ 


switch of musical styles, from folky Chelsea Girl 


to creator of her own music, 


came with an 


equally dramatic shift in appearance. Gone were 


the eyebrow-skimming ban 


gs and the multiple 


pairs of fake eyelashes ador ning heavily lined 


lids. Her blonde mane was replaced by red locks 


that progressed to flowing 


brown hair. Floaty 


black — always black — capes and robes in 


weighty fabrics replaced tailored white suits. 


“She was terr ifying in her a 
Danny Fields, 


ustere beauty,” said 


“which she didn’t want. She really 


was girlish, in a nice way. She just liked to laugh.” 


Now living with Warhol's new business man- 


ager, Fred Hughes, in an apartment on East 16th 


Street, Nico took long, 


candle-lit baths and 


practised the harmonium. It was the first time 


she’d felt the music was her 
use her own experiences, ic 


s and that she could 


eas and feelings for 
g 


inspiration. When asked where the lyrical con- 


tent came from, she said, “It has to do with my 


going to Berlin in 1946 wh 
and seeing the entire city c 


en I was a little girl 
estroyed. I like the 


fallen empire, the image of the fallen empire." 


Having crafted the songs 


for the new album, 





Nico now needed a record 


tery, but she was so worried — ‘But I want them to know my songs." 
Fields was perfectly placed to bolster Nico's career. At Elektra, 
he had access to label president, Jac Holzman. * 


abel that would put 


them out. She turned to Fields for help. *She was so afraid," he 
said. “She knew that she had this great beauty and this great mys- 


» 


“Danny Was close to 


said Holzman. *One day, he brought 
Nico in. I knew who Nico was, and she brought in her little harmo- 


Harmonium mundi 
at Le Bataclan, Paris, 
1971; (left) in 1967; 


(right, above) with John 
Cale at CBGB, New York, 
1979; (below) with 
Stooges roadie John 
Adams (left) and 

Iggy Pop ina promo 
film for The Marble 
Index, 1968. 


nium; she sat, and she played. 
Was it off the wall? Unbelievably 
so. But so what?” 

“Jac has wonderful taste,” 
Fields would remember, “and 
I kinda knew that he would see 
through the legend, the myth, и 
the beauty, the goddess. I don't 2 
think һе wante d to fuck her. Jac 


simply recognised good songs — that was the 


THE 8IOG 


essence of Elektra." 

It took three sessions in May of 1968, at Elek- 
tra Studios at 962 North La Cienega Boulevard in 
Los Angeles, to cut The Marble Index, with Frazier 
Mohawk listed as producer. But Fields gives 
Nico's former bandmate, John Cale, credit for 
shaping the album into its other-worldly form. 

"The songs were already in Nico's head," Cale 
said later. Yet his contribution as collaborator, 


arranger and uncredited co-producer was indel- 


he said, 


ible. *Before I did Index I didn't know I could arrange," 
"but then I got lucky and found a very strong personality like Nico 
who threw me against the wall and I had to come and bounce back." 

The process wasn't easy because, says Cale, the two would fight 
at *every opportunity". Each song was a separate challenge: the 
harmonium was not an instrument ever truly in tune. Cale added a 
variety of elements to the mix, including glockenspiel, bells, mouth 
organ and bosun's pipe, electric viola, piano, bass and guitar. 

With recording over, Cale kicked the singer out of the studio, 
locking the door behind her. Two days later, he let Nico back in to 
hear the final results. “You’ve got to remember that on those solo 
albums she was really in pain," he reflected. "Afterwards she'd burst 
into tears of gratitude. It's that whole thing of self-loathing and the 
discovery of her personality.” The final album clocked in at just 30 
minutes. Producer Mohawk later said the LP’s length was inten- 
tional, as “that’s all I could listen to. After it was бей, we genu- 
inely thought people might kill themselves. The Marble Index isn't a 
record you listen to. It's a hole you fall into." 


N JUNE 3, 1968, VALERIE SOLANAS SHOT ANDY 
Warhol. Factory insider David Croland remembers getting 
the news of the attack. *I was with Nico and Susan 


[Bottomly, AKA International Velvet] at my apartment on 71st 







YOU АВЕ BEAUTITUL AND YOU ARE ALONE 


SRAPHY OF NICO 





"on those solo albums she was really in pain. 
it’s that whole thing of self-loathing and the 
discovery of her personality." john cale 





Street. The phone rang, and it was Viva 
Superstar. She said that Andy had been shot. 
We were alla little freaked out. I said to Susan 
and Nico, *We're going to the hospital to see 
Andy. We don't know if he's going to live or 
die.' Nico did not want to. She said, *No, 
we're not. We're going to stay here because 
they're shooting Superstars possibly.’ We just 
stayed in my apartment with the lights off 
and the candles burning, until we heard from 
Viva that Andy was alive and would possibly 
pull through." 

Terribly shaken by Warhol's brush with 
death, Nico wrote a new song for him called 
The Falconer. She did not think the people 
around him had taken the shooting seriously. 

Physically, if not mentally, recovered, War- 
hol and Elektra Records held the premiere of 
The Marble Index at the Factory on September 
19. The evening promised a “playing of the 
album" to start *promptly at 8.40pm", with 
“wine, supper and dancing to follow". On the 
night, Nico told a reporter that the album was "like a movie. It has all 
the senses and it is in my line." Asked if she thought it would succeed, 
she replied, ‘ ‘Of course. There’ s very little good music around.” 

But on its release The Marble Index proved to be so different to 
any other album of the time that even critics seemed confused 
about how to classify or describe it. “I can’t make out a 
single real word,” said NME’s reviewer. Danny Fields tried 
hard to help Nico in any way he could, though she did not 
have formal management or a booking agent to organise 
concerts. In his memoir, Follow The Music, Jac Holzman 
recalled, *She'd call up and, in her low moan, tell you, ‘PI 
be in on Tuesday, set up some interviews.' Tuesday would 
come, and no Nico. Eight months later, she'd call again. 
‘Tm back in town.’ You would say, "What about those other 
times?’ ‘Oh, I couldn't do those, I had to go to Rome."" 

Even if Nico had been enthused and dependable during 
the album's promotional cycle, in all likelihood it would still 
have experienced low sales figures. “It’s an artefact, not a 
commercial commodity," explained John Cale in a 1977 


interview with Sounds. *You can't sell suicide." 


ET THE MARBLE INDEX ENDURED - ITS CULT KEPT 
alive by a small coterie of fans: Joe Boyd, who would bring Nico 
to Reprise for her third album, Desertshore; Marc Almond, who 
would feature Nico on his fourth solo album, The Stars We Are. Out 
of it, John Cale got the job of producing the debut by a new Elektra 
act, The Stooges. While the latter were in New York, Nico and Iggy 
Pop — a fan of the Velvets and The Marble Index — were introduced 
and the two began an affair. *My earliest memory of her is sitting 
there with John Cale in the booth,” Pop tells me. “She would sit 
there going, ‘Yaah, yaah, this is good... better than the Velvets.’” 
Pop admired Nico's strength and her sophistication: “She was 
like hanging out with a rock singer, like hanging out with a guy," he 
told me, “except she had girl's parts. It was the only difference. 
Otherwise, it was like a guy. A tough-minded, egotistical, artistic 
kind of guy." However, it is Nico's artistry that has stuck with Pop. 
"She was a great, great artist," he says. “It was just a real kick to be 
around her. I'm absolutely convinced that some day, when people 
have ears to hear her, in the same way that people have eyes to see a 


ወ 


p» 


Van Gogh now, that people are gonna just go, *WHOOOAM! 





Taken. from You Are Beautiful And You Are Alone: The Biography Of Nico by 
Jennifer Otter Bickerdike, published by Faber on July 15, 2021. 


MOJO 57 





Songs from the South. Some others 
from East Woodhay, Hampshire. 
A sleeve that shocked in 1971. 
A smash hit single that shocks more 
today. Fifty years since the release of 

‚ MOJO's writers and 
friends - plus Marianne, and Bill - unzip 
'most iconic album 

and ask: Does it still taste so good? 

Photograph: 


HE MYTHOLOGY IS SEDUCTIVE. TUNES CUT ON THE LAM— THE 
Rolling Stones “oiled up and running hot”, said guitarist Keith Richards 
later — in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. One of them tested live, less than a 
week later, at the Altamont Speedway show where the death knell of the 
'605 rang. You couldn't make it up. 
But this was December 1969, and only three songs — Brown Sugar, 
Wild Horses, You Gotta Move — came out of that storied session. Before 
it would finally emerge in April 1971, Sticky Fingers’ creation story would get far messier. 
That the Stones survived 1970 at alli is remarkable enough. The extraction from man- 
ager Allen Klein came with a monster bill for deferred tax. Negotiations to establish their 
own record label under the umbrella of Ahmet Ertegun's Atlantic were necessarily discreet 
and sporadic. Richards and his girlfriend Anita Pallenberg — parents to Marlon since August 
1969 — were getting deeper into heroin. Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull, their “i 
tionship crumbling, began the year in court, Jagger fined for possession of cannabis. He 
would end the year a father for the first time, of Karis, by American actor-singer Marsha 
Hunt. In between, three films featuring Jagger would premiere: the execrable Ned Kelly, 
the pilloried Performance, and depressing Gimme Shelter, the Maysles brothers’ fly-on- 
the-wall documentary of the Stones’ '69 US tour, including Altamont's scenes from hell. 
Finishing up their contract with Decca/London, the Stones delivered a live album, Get 
Yer Ya-Ya's Out!, and a single — Cocksucker Blues — they knew the label could not release. 
Meanwhile, under the 2” the new Rolling Stones Mobile Recording Studio rolled up 
to Jagger's as-yet unrenovated Stargroves pile near East Woodhay, Hampshire, and the 
balance ofa new album took shape. Producer Jimmy Miller and engineers Glyn and Andy 
Johns, plus house guests including Kenneth Anger and a new Jagger love interest, >- 


©Peter Webb 1969 


58 MOJO 








v They got the blues: The Rolling Stones 
E (from left) Charlie Watts, Keith Richards, 

Bill Wyman, Mick Taylor and Mick Jagger 

in photographer Peter Webb's studio, 

1 Park Village East, London, summer 1969. 






<< Bianca Pérez-Mora Macías, made the 
best of the hastily jerry-built bedrooms. 

It is testament to Jagger's ability to 
glean some shape out of chaos that Sticky 
Fingers coheres and expresses a character 
all its own, one influenced for the first 
time by incumbent lead guitarist Mick 
Taylor — who looked, and played, like an 
angel. As the testaments that follow un- 
derline, the songs all dazzle in their own 
way, whether born in the Deep South or 
Home Counties (or, in the case of Sister 
Morphine, in London and LA in 1968). 
The packaging — Andy Warhol's zip- 
crotch cover; John Pasche's lips logo, de- 
buting here — defined and renewed the 
Stones as the sexiest band in pop. 

In March ’71, the Stones embarked оп 
their “Farewell To England” tour, as it was 
announced they would be emigrating to 
France. In April, they signed formally with 
Atlantic parent Kinney Services for an 
unheard-of royalty of a dollar per album 
sold, and Brown Sugar — shelved for 16 
months — peaked at Number 1 in the US, 


Number 2 in the UK. And on Я 
о Mick нато Bianca: tune at Altamont may have cursed it 

2 52 : with the legacy of that murderous 

As with so many Stones night. But American rock and blues already lived 
gambits before and since, Sticky under a pall of foundational violence, from the 
Gold Coast slave ship to the market down in New 
Orleans to the minstrel tent show, an institution 
recent enough to have employed Little Richard. 
The band’s most problematic song also, 
somehow, comes across as their most fluent 
1 piece of Americana. 

So, we've gota racialised colonialist rape 
fantasy, recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama - quite 
near the beating heart of the country’s original 


know it would make an arena jump 
and shout. Some might think their 
satanic majesties' live debut of the 


Fingers seemed to say, ‘Crisis? 
What crisis?’ 


Sticky Fingers’ hottest rock 


is also a hot potato, writes sin, placing an imagined Black female body as a 
Alison Fensterstock. stand-in for the American music the Stones loved 
How do you untiea knot like B $ " and yearned to penetrate and own. It's nasty stuff, 
Brown Sugar - for 50 years one of obby Gillespie still frequently in the live set, with lyrics edited 
the Stones’ hottest rocks, even per Mick's whim. Does it still taste so good? 























while its lyrical content and tone 

rightly had even Mick squicked out as long ago 
asa 1995 Rolling Stone interview, in which he 
said, “I never would write that song now"? In her 
2020 book Black Diamond Queens, the Black 
American scholar Maureen Mahon uses the song 
to investigate just what white British rockers 
were so erect about, when it came to Black 
American women's sexuality - and as well, 
as an entry point to tell the stories of three 
such women on the rock scene who 
crossed paths with Mick Jagger, 

but also hewed meaningful, if 
undersung ones of their own. 

The tune is Rosetta Stones: a 
tough, driving hot slab of the blues 
that inspired the band, captured at 
the moment it also becomes hard dreamin’.” | mean, man, what an 
rock as they defined awful place to be. 


it,arrogantenoughto BOUTIGO rad The groove is amazing. It says 
Bobby Gillespie (left) 
and Patterson Hood. 


2 


Getin the swamp for some existential 
rock’n’roll. Your guide: Bobby Gillespie. 


(2), John Minihan/Getty Images, Getty, Sam Christmas, Jason Thrasher 


Sway is like nothing else in the Stones’ oeuvre, 
апа it’s unlike anything else in rock'n'roll. 

I love Mick's lyric: “Did you ever wake up to 
find/A day that broke up your mind/Destroyed 
your notion of circular time.” Sometimes, Mick's 
lyrics are kind of gestural. There’s an ironic 
distance. But on Sway you get this real 

sense of existential dread, like you get 
with Rocks Off on Exile On Main St.: 
“lonly get my rocks off when I'm 


Alamy (2), © Alec Byrne-www.rpmarchives.com 


60 MOJO 


you're in the mire. It doesn't have 
the propulsion of a Brown Sugar 
or Bitch or Jumpin’ Jack Flash. 
It’s almost Can-like in its inertia. 
It’s like a swamp of sound - it's 
moving but you're going 
nowhere, andit really fits the 
existentially stranded narrator. 

And while the rest of the band are in the 
swamp, Mick Taylor is up in the heavens. He adds 
colours to the music, like Brian Jones did with his 
marimbas and recorders and harpsichords, but 
just with guitar. You get two Mick Taylor solos – 
one with slide іп the middle and one without at 
the end, and he brings a tenderness, a plaintive- 
ness that | think encouraged Jagger to write 
gentler songs. 

The Stones were essentially a dance band. They 
knew rock'n'roll had to be fun. But they took that 
fun and joy and sexuality and still managed to put 
in lyrics – like Sway, or Rocks Off — of existential 
dread. |I mean, that's fucking difficult. Dylan tried 
it for a while, and then he gave up. It was too hard! 


3 


Drive-By Truckers’ Patterson Hood was five 
when the Stones rocked upto his dad’s 
workplace, and cut their most heartfelt song. 


No band has ever released four albums in a row 
more essential and perfect than The Rolling 
Stones from Beggars Banquet through Exile On 
Main St., but song for song, Sticky Fingers is my 
vote for their greatest of all time. And my very 
favourite song on the album, and a song that has 
had such an impact on my life personally and 
musically is Wild Horses. Plus it was recorded in 
my hometown, in the studio my father, bass 
player David Hood, co-owned. 






aii 





af ai Ld 


® 


` 


It's a great song and a great story: how the 
Stones on their November '69 tour said they 
wanted to record in the South; how Memphis- 
based writer Stanley Booth sounded out his 
friend, session keyboardist Jim Dickinson. Jim 
reached outto Stax butthere were two problems. 
First, Staxowner Jim Stewart was on the outs 
with Atlantic Records, who were in the process 
of signing the Stones. Second, the Stones were 
travelling with a visa that enabled them to perform 
live but not to record, and Memphis being a 
heavy union town, that was quite the obstacle. 

The solution was Muscle Shoals, three hours 
tothe southeast of Memphis, and already the 
home of Rick Hall’s Fame studio, the launch pad 
for instant soul classics including When A Man 
Loves A Woman by Percy Sledge, | Never Loved A 
Man (The Way | Love You) by Aretha Franklin and 
Tell Mama by Etta James (my dad played bass on 
that one). But Hall, too, was feuding with Atlantic, 
so Dickinson turned to the five-month-old Muscle 
Shoals Sound, a tiny former casket factory at 3614 
N Jackson Highway - technically, in Sheffield. 

Legends abound about whether Gram 
Parsons actually co-wrote Wild Horses or just 
influenced it. Clearly, Gram's version came out 
first, on Burrito Deluxe, a whole year before Sticky 
Fingers (and where it is credited to Jagger- 
Richards). But for sure Mick and Keith finished 
writing itin thetiny bathroom of Muscle Shoals 
Sound and recorded it that same night. Also 
for certain, itis beautiful, one of the fullest 
expressions of regretful longing in popular 


ТШ 









| 


pe 
መ 


You got to move: Jagger, Taylor, Richards 
return to The Marquee, London, 1971; (inset 
left) Keith with Anita Pallenberg and new 
son Marlon, August 1969; (opposite page, 
clockwise from far left) Sticky Fingers’ 
Warhol sleeve; mayhem and murder at 
Altamont, December 6, 1969; Jagger’s 
Stargroves pile; Richards and Jim Dickinson 
listen to a Wild Horses playback at Muscle 
Shoals Sound; MSS studio exterior. 


music, whether the sentiments were 
originally addressed to Keith's son 
Marlon, or Gram's sister Avis - another 
theory. And whether or not "Wild 
horses couldn't drag me away" were 
Marianne Faithfull's first words when 
she came to in hospital after her suicide 
attempt in Sydney in July. 

Italso sounds wonderful - shonky and druggy 
and late-night. Part of that sound is Dickinson, 
playing piano in place of Stones keysman lan 
Stewart, who baulked atthe song's minor key 
("Lonly play the boogie woogie,” he told Jim, 
pronouncing it with soft 'g's). The studio had just 
hadtheir piano professionally tuned, except the 
Stones always tuned to Keith, which in this case 
was about a quarter step off from standard, just 
enough to render the piano useless for the 
session. Never one to give up easily, Jim 
attempted to play along onthe Hammond B3 
and Wurlitzer electric, thinking that perhaps he 
could ‘bend’ the notes just enough to make it 
work, to no avail. 

There was, however, a beat up old piano in 
the corner that no one used. It had tacks over the 
pads giving it a ragtime sound that had been 
used recently for a Boz Scaggs session. Sure 
enough, Jim was able to find just enough notes 
that were close enough to work and he 
proceeded to do what he called his “best Floyd 
Cramer impression”. He played along with the 
take and the rest is history. 

Wild Horses went on to be a US hit single in 
June 71 and a classic, influencing artists across 
thespectrum from country to rock'n'roll to 
Americana, and remains one of my favourite 
recordings of all time. Little Muscle Shoals Sound 
would birth many huge records - by The Staple 
Singers, Willie Nelson, Bobby Womack, Rod 
Stewart, Traffic and a ton of other artists. My dad 
played bass on all of those. > 


МО)О 61 


т, Scott Tsai 


Estate Of Keith Morris/Getty, Robert Altman/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty, Getty (2), © Alec Byrne-www.rpmarchives.con 


The Stones as jam band? John Mulvey 
justsays yesto some "poodling about". 


For all the performative sloppiness, The Rolling 
Stones' career has been built more on calculation 
than improvisation. An unflappable rhythm 
section; an artillery of riffs; the pantomime 
signifiers of rock'n'roll abandon - these have 
sustained the Stones' greatness for so long, 
ratherthan spontaneous musical innovation. 
Can't You Hear Me Knocking, though (or at least 
its second half), allows us a rare glimpse ofthe 
Stones’ freestyle potential. It is, as was the way 
of many things in 1971,ajam. 

The Stones hardly seemed like natural allies 
of jam bands at the turn of the ‘70s. “The Grateful 
Dead is where everybody got it wrong,” 

Keith Richards would reflect in 2015. “Just 
poodling about for hours and hours. Jerry 
Garcia, boring shit, man.” Nevertheless, 
Can't You Hear Me Knocking betrays a 
certain knowledge, especially of Santana's 
Latin-tinged workouts. Santana had 
opened for the Stones at Altamont, 

afew months before the track was 
recorded at Olympicin spring 1970. The 
Grateful Dead, you'll recall, pulled out of 
Altamont after Marty Balin was knocked 
unconscious by a Hell's Angel during 
Jefferson Airplane's set. 

Twoand three-quarter minutes into 
Can't You Hear Me Knocking, following 
one of the most staccato attack strategies 
in Richards’ portfolio, the track becomes 
all about where the music сап go when 
the riff ends. Perhaps significantly, the 
jump is orchestrated by the other guysin 
the room: Bobby Keys soloing on sax; Billy 
Preston adding organ shade; Rocky Dijon 
and Jimmy Miller rewiring the beat. The 
key Stone here is Mick Taylor, his lines 
clean and serpentine in the left channel 
where Richards’ contributions in the right have 
been choppy, ultra-distorted. In this mood one 
suspects Taylor could poodle about, beautifully, 
for hours and hours; indeed he showed up 
on-stage to do just that with the Grateful Dead in 
1988. Jagger meanwhile, after initially contribut- 
ing to the mood of incremental hysteria by 
pushing his vocals way high, is left twiddling his 
thumbs. "We've never really done anything else 
like it since,” he noted in 2015. “I’m always slightly 
ambivalent about doing it [live], | guess because 
Idon't do anything for the last five minutes.” 


5 


The Stones raid an old bluesman’s tune 
bank. For once, they paid the piper, 
reports David Fricke. 


Fred McDowell was in his fifties, a farmer by trade 
anda bluesman on weekends, when he made his 


62 MOJO 






recording debut in 1959, 
taped at home in Como, 
Mississippi by the folklorist 
Alan Lomax. “This is early 
blues as dance music,” 
Lomax wrote, “with the slide 
guitar going hell for leather.” 
But it was McDowell's 
searing way with a spiritual 
- howthe guitar became 
"another voice," Lomax said, 
in “clean, steely melodic 
figures" - that compelled The 
Rolling Stones to cover his 
treatment of You Gotta Move, 
awell-travelled hymn, at 
Muscle Shoals, just three 
hours' drive from Como. 
Jagger and Richards played 
it almost every night on the 
Stones’ ’69 US tour, in an 
acoustic-duo sequence with 





Going the moonlight mile: 
the Stones say Farewell to 
England, Colston Hall, Bristol 
March ‘71; (far left) Billy 
Preston; (left) mixing with 
Jimmy Miller (seated, 

Glyn Johns; (below) Bo 

Keys; variations on a slee 


Robert Wilkins’ Prodigal Son from 
1968's Beggars Banquet and Robert 
Johnson's Love In Vain, recently cut for 
LetItBleed."Whenlwasinto Chuck, 
Muddy andBo, wanted to know... 
who turned them on,” Richards said in 
2008 of the Stones’ late-'60s obsession 
with Delta soul and mystery. In fact, 
despite the age difference, 
McDowell was a contempo- 
rary who had recently 
turned pro when he taped 
You Gotta Moveforthe 
Arhoolie label on July 5, 
1965 - the same week the 
Stones hit Number 1 in 
America with (I Can't Get 
No) Satisfaction. 

At Muscle Shoals, the 
Stones struggled to adapt 
McDowell's solitary call to 

Judgement Day asa 
group. But over nearly 
two dozen takes, gritty 
perfection was “created 
out of chaos,” wrote 
eyewitness Stanley 

Booth. Richards swapped 

the National steel guitar 
he used on-stage for an 
acoustic 12-string; 
drummer Charlie Watts 
and guitarist Mick Taylor 
worked around the 
melody; and bassist Bill 


Wyman got behind an electric piano. During 
a playback, Richards told Booth, "The new 
album's underway." 

McDowell died a year after Sticky Fingers 
came out, in July, 1972, aged 66. He lived long 
enough for Arhoolie's Chris Strachwitz to visit 
him in Como to deliver the biggest royalty 
cheque the singer had ever seen, thanks to the 
Stones. But, Strachwitz recalled, McDowell was 
"more delighted knowing that his music had 
made such an impact.” 


6 


Mick’s other sex-equals-drugs banger. 
Andrew Perry marvels at a libidinous groove. 


With mirror-image sequencing at side two's 
pole position, comparable themes of carnal 
addiction, and even selection as B-side to Sticky 
Fingers’ world-beating megahit, Bitch can only 
ever stand in Brown Sugar's shadow. Where 
that song unfolds majestically according to 

a pop song's ‘pocket symphony’ narrative, 
however, this flipside version hits its target 
noless convincingly. 

The opening 15 seconds are miraculous: Bill 
Wyman leads the charge, establishing a tough, 
tensile groove which drills ahead undeviatingly 
to 0:45, before breaking into an elevating bridge 
section, then snapping back onto the rails with 
a blast of declamatory horns. Woo-hoo! 

Worked up from an initial Jagger sketch, 
Bitch is a textbook case of the Stones’ two-man 


songwriterly push-and-pull. Circa October '70, 
probably at Stargroves, a jam conducted by 
Mick, Charlie Watts and saxman Bobby Keys 

was limping along inconclusively. Mick Taylor 
drifted in on rhythm guitar, but, according to 
engineer Andy Johns, it was when Keith Richards 
swanned in characteristically late that every- 
thing coalesced. 

Richards sat on the floor, shoeless, to 
evening-breakfast on a bowl of cereal, but 
suddenly leapt up to grab his Dan Armstrong 
plexiglass guitar, accelerate the tempo 


substantially, and hone that thrusting rhythm el, ነ 
1 


to perfection. “It went from being this laconic 
mess into a real groove,” Johns remembered, 
“and | thought, ‘Wow, that’s what he does!" 

It’s Richards, reputedly, who solos with 
extravagant (curiously Taylor-esque) fluidity for 
90-odd seconds towards the end, while Taylor 
himself chugs behind in support. The 2015 
deluxe reissue unearthed a different, looser 
take that stretches out to nearly six priapic 
minutes, thundering on and on into the night. 


7 


They also got the soul, argues 
Sylvie Simmons. 


If Sticky Fingers is the Stones album 
sometimes overlooked by critics 
salivating over Exile On Main St.,| Got 
TheBlues is the song that tends to 
get overlooked on Sticky Fingers. 















Hear him knocking? Bill 
: Wyman remembers the 
TW “lucky occasions"; (below) 
Ampeg Dan Armstrong 
Plexiglass guitar, as used 
by Keith on Bitch. 





Lord knows why. Maybe some of the other slow 
songs or blues songs offer more of a story, while 
alll Got The Blues has is perfection. 

There are times it evokes Love In Vain in its 
pace and mood. Both are laments for a woman 
who's gone - though where Robert Johnson's 
protagonist tries to get her back, Jagger's, 
pained as he is, is all about acceptance. With the 

tenderness displayed in Wild Horses and in 
stark contrast to the machismo of Bitch, 
® he prays that she finds a better guy who 
ls “Won't drag you down with abuse." 
je Despite the title, this is nota 
straightahead blues. It’s equal parts 
blues, gospel and soul; a bit Robert 
Johnson but a bigger bit Otis Redding, 
another of Mick and Keith's heroes: I've 
Been Loving You Too Long (which the 
Stones covered five years earlier) or 
Pain In My Heart slowed way, way down. 

The slowness has a lot to do with its 
captivating beauty: a heroin tempo that 
feels on the verge of falling asleep - per- 
haps “in the silk sheet of time” - yet never 
loses its focus. And Jagger's vocal sounds 
clean and clear, as does Mick Taylor's guitar, 
hard-edged even through the 

reverb. The piéces de resistance, 
though, come from the “outsiders”: 
Billy Preston's soaring gospel 
keyboards add a touch of the divine, 
whilethe Stax-style horn section 
bring an epic physicality tothe 
heart-breakanda stirring glory 
tothe song. > 


MOJO 63 








M NV O M ||] 


Ehe Aims Pro; 


"Rolling truck Stones 
thing": the mobile in 
its current home in 
Calgary, Canada. 


How to co-write with the Stones and geta 
credit (eventually), by Marianne Faithfull. 


This is what | remember and it’s quite clear. We 
were in London and Mick was strumming this 
tune all the time, a lovely tune but it had no 
words. And eventually | got sick of hearing it 
and said, “Look, Mick, let me write some.” 

Solwrote this story about a man who'd had 
an accident. He's dying, and in terrible pain and 
all he wants is for the nurse to bring him another 
shot. It’s definitely a kind of junkie song except 
that neither Mick nor | knew much about junkies 
back then, although | knew more, because 
| already knew [beat poet] Gregory Corso and 
[Faithfull’s first husband, art dealer] John Dunbar 
- people who did use narcotics. And | think, 
partly, ifl had to puta real person init, 
Sister Morphine might have been 
Anita [Pallenberg]. Because she 
had just played Nurse Bullock in 
thefilm Candy. 

Irecorded my version in LA in 
'68 with Mickand Charlie and Jack 
Nitzsche, who adored - he wasa 
monster, really, but | miss him 
terribly -anditturned out really 
well. It came out on a single with 
Something Better, a lovely 
recording. But Decca were very 
nervous about Sister Morphine. 
They weren't very bright at Decca, 


à 
ያ 
i 
à 
$ 
f 





Marianne Faithfull 


you know. I mean, there's actually nothing illegal 
goingonin the song, butthere was definitely a 
backlash against me and the Stones at the time. 
We had a bad reputation, which today is almost 
like a badge of honour. 

Was it a surprise when it turned up on Sticky 
Fingers? Yes – a tremendous shock. And without 
my credit! was so angry. | fought and fought 
until | got the credit back, and | did get it back, 
but it took at least 20 years. Why did they resist? 
Well it’s a team, isn't it: Mick Jagger and Keith 
Richards? And it was unheard of to let someone 
else in. Letting a woman in would have been 
even more awful! 

With my own experience of addiction, the 
song became much deeper for me -when | sing 
it, all my life experience comes rushing up to 
meet me. Band after band of mine loved playing 
it, to the extent that if | ever said, "I don’t feel like 
doing Sister Morphine tonight,” there would bea 
revolution! | guess it was the best song | had ever 
written and the best song | ever was to write. 





She Walks In Beauty, by Marianne Faithfull with 
Warren Ellis, is out now on BMG. 


Henry Diltz/Cache Agency/Dalle, Brandon Wallis, бегесі Mankowitz, © Alec Byrne-www.rpmarchives.com 


Let's sway: the Stones on-stage 
with Stephen Stills (front), 
Amsterdam, October 9, 1970; 
(right) the back sleeve and inserts, 
with tongue logo; (far right, from 
top) Jagger in the studio with 
Marianne Faithfull; Mick, Mick 
and Keith share an acoustic 
momentat The Marquee, 1971. 


Shooting up, kicking shit: a "headneck" 
classicis hailed by Michael Simmons 


“The mixture of black and white American music 
had plenty of space to be explored,” wrote Keith 
Richards in his 2010 autobiography, Life. The 
Stones had already written and recordeda 
country song - Dear Doctor on 19685 Beggars 
Banquet (the world would wait until 1975, and 
the Metamorphosis compilation, to hear their 
own version of the proto-country Somethings 
Just Stick In Your Mind). Since then, Keith had sat 
for Gram Parsons’ tutorial on heroin, Hank 
Williams, Merle Haggard and George Jones. You 
hear it in Wild Horses, although Wild Horses 
doesn’t have the shitkick of Dead Flowers. 

But it was Mick, not Keith, who took credit for 
writing it. “It’s a joke, really,” he told MOJO in 
2016. “A vulnerable lyric done in a very invulner- 
able way." The po' boy junkie protagonist is 
attempting to seduce a posh dame riding in "a 
rose pink Cadillac". Perhaps he'll emerge with a 
notch on his belt; she'll be gone while he moves 
ontothe next conquest, tossing roses on her 
memory. And yet there’s a rueful edge that 
suggests his boasts hide heartbreak: he'll still 
be there “with a needle and a spoon" and 
bedhopping "to take my pain away”, while she 
remains "the queen ofthe underground". 

It's deceptive: on onelevela novelty, on 
anotheran examination of lust and class. 
Meanwhile, Mick Taylor mimics pedal steel licks 





and lan Stewart plays honky-tonk piano with 
"bent note" splash - another Sticky Fingers nod to 
Nashville session pianist Floyd Cramer. The 
eleventeenth example of Americana before it 
hadaname, Mickand the Stones have performed 
itasa duet with contemporary country star Brad 
Paisley and others, and its combo of twang and 
transgression made it a perfect cover song for 
hillbilly-headneck fuck-ups like Jerry Lee Lewis, 
Townes Van Zandt and Steve Earle. In other 
words, it’s timeless. 


10 


Sticky Fingers crawls its last 1.60934 km, 
asleep butawake. Mark Blake rides shotgun. 


Ascoldly macho as The Rolling Stones can be, 
they're still proneto great sensitivity, even 
sentimentality. Witness Moonlight Mile. It's also 
Sticky Fingers' only possible conclusion, and 
unimaginable anywhere else in the sequencing. 
Jagger said he wrote the lyrics while bored 
and homesick on a train, and pieced the song 
together with Mick Taylor late one night at 
Stargroves. Taylor fooled around with an existing 
Keith Richards idea (nicknamed Japanese 
Thing’), but Richards himself isn't on the song. 
Hired hand/trumpeter Bill Price played the 


piano and his two-note figure at 0:18 minutes, 
simulated a few seconds by Jagger's girlish vocal, 
sounds like a Japanese koto. That's also Jagger 
picking out the hesitant-sounding intro on 
acoustic guitar. It suggests a Rolling Stone - any 
Rolling Stone - wearily climbing the steps onto 
the bus before falling into the arms of Morpheus. 

“When the wind blows/And the rain feels 
cold...” drawls Jagger, punctuated by Charlie 
Watts’ cymbal splashes and Taylor's languid fills. 
The lyrics veer from obvious comments about 
touring life (“Just another mad, mad day on the 
road") to the more inspired "Made a rag pile of 
my shiny clothes". It's Jagger tossing his costume 
-thesilver-studded choker and skinny-rib velvet 
top - intoa corner ofthe hotel room. 

Here, the Stones manage that very Stones 
trick of sounding both utterly exhausted and 
wide awake at the same time. Moonlight Mile 
never becomes dreary because things keep 
happening. Paul Buckmaster's strings arrive at 
the 2:18-minute mark to counterpoint Jagger's 
voice with swooping violins and cellos. A minute 
later Taylor weighs in on electric guitar. It even 
has a fake-ish ending, allowing them all to play 
tag with each other for a further minute. Then, 
finally, The Rolling Stones are home. 

Bits and pieces transformed by genius. 

Like we said before: it's Sticky Fingers’ only 
possible conclusion. 


MOJO 65 


Amy Winehouse, backstage 
at Coachella, Indio, California, 
where she was way down the 
bill on Friday, April 27, 2007. 




















































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MOJO 67 


PRING WAS TURNING TO SUMMER AS THE 18-YEAR-OLD AMY 

Winehouse landed at Miami International Airport. It was the last week of 

May 2002 and the nascent singer was newly signed to EMI Music Publishing, 

who had decided to try matching her with Fugees/Nas producer Salaam 

Remi. Winehouse and her 21-year-old manager, Nick Shymansky, both 

just kids really, were buzzed to be in the States: rolling around in a hired 
convertible, living it up at the beachside art deco Raleigh Hotel. 

It had taken some convincing by their shared A&R man Guy Moot 

before Remi had agreed to meeting Winehouse, having been unmoved 

by what he considered to be her Erykah Badu-lite neo-soul demos. But 

on day one at Remi's downtown Creative Space studio, when Winehouse 

walked in with her guitar, sat down, and played and sang The Girl From 

Ipanema for him, her talent instantly shone. 





Take it to the beach: 21-year-old Amy with first 
manager Nick Shymansky, Miami, 2002; (right) 
Salaam Remi in his New York studio, 2013. 





“It lit up the entire room,” Remi tells 
MOJO today. “You could really hear her voice 
projecting and that’s what caught me. She 
was hitting jazz notes and nailing it with the 
skill of a 75-year-old woman who'd been do- 
ing that forever." 

Immediately inspired, the pair picked up 
on the jazzy bossa nova vibes and quickly 
wrote a song together called Cherry, in which 
Winehouse seemed to be singing about her 
best friend and confessor, revealed in the 
closing line to be *my new guitar". It set the 
lyrical tone for what was to become Wine- 
house's debut album, Frank. *It was her hav- 
ing the idea of the joke she wanted to tell," 
says Remi, *and how she was gonna build this 
song to get to that punchline." 

Musicians and producers who worked 
with Amy Winehouse all have similar stories, 
building a vivid picture: a singer with skills 
that seemed out of time — beamed from the 
golden ages of jazz and soul; a writer with the 
gift of spinning her personal experiences into 
candid songs that were variously poignant, 
catchy, catty and hilarious. As a girl growing 
up in Southgate, north London, she'd discov- 


68 MOJO 





















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егей her voice by singing along to Sarah Vaughan, Frank Sinatra and 
jazz soloists. As a young artist in 2002, and as Salaam Remi was 
discovering, she was beginning to take these influences and shape 
them into a musical character that was completely her own. 

While her death a decade ago makes her story a tragedy — ours 
as much as hers, for who knows how many more timeless gems 
she'd have written and sung — she was the first to see the funny side 
in even the darkest topics. It was part of her genius, and certainly 
her charm. 

"It's funny," she said when I asked about the role of her father 
Mitch’s infidelity in the Frank song What Is It About Men?. “I write 
about personal situations, but I like to give it a little punchline, so 
you can look back and laugh. Rather than go, ‘O, woe is me.’ I like 
to be able to go, *Well, that was a bit of a shitty one. But 
I got through. 


HE RAPPORT BETWEEN REMI 
M and Winehouse that helped unlock the 
latter’s talent in 2002 was built on fun 


and head games. In Miami, the producer of- 


э» 


fered to recycle a funky loop he'd built from 
The Incredible Bongo Band's 1973 take on 
The Shadows' Apache and had used on Nas's 
recent single Made You Look, but teasingly 
withheld it until he felt she'd written a song 
that deserved it. 

“I was like, ‘All right, the beat is muted,” 
laughs Remi. “If the song is strong enough, 
then we'll bring the beat back in.” 

Winehouse duly upped her game, and the 
result was a sultry yet cynical examination of 
sex and love: In My Bed. 

*Salaam and her had this brother/sister 
relationship," says Darcus Beese, Wine- 
house's A&R man when she subsequently 
signed to Island Records. “Не was one of the 
very few people that she would be really 
comfortable with in making records. He was 
her mentor and Salaam's place was a bit of a 
sanctuary for her." 

When Frank was released in October 
2003, its commercial performance was dis- 
appointing. Winehouse herself criticised the 
“fake strings” added to one track, Take The 
Box (which Darcus Beese now accepts was 
“my fault”) and even lambasted the team at 


ptital Pictures, Dan Hallman/Invision/AP/Shutterstoc, Ross Kirton/Eyevine 


Island as “idiots... but they’re nice idiots”. It 
was a marker, the sound of an inchoate > 5 


Amy in Camden, 
2009: “I like to be 
able to go, 'Well 
that was a bit of a 
shitty one. But 1 
got through’... 















ANLE 
WINNIE 170 


<< artist rapidly taking individualistic form, but 
the leap from there to what she did next — simply, 
one of the great albums of the 21st century — 
remains astonishing. 

"Amy was so intelligent," says Dale Davis, her 
bassist and live musical director from 2003 until 

& her death. “She’d only observed the process of 





what was going on. Then she got it together for Back 
going Ё £g 
To Black.” 
Nonetheless, outwardly at least, Amy Winehouse never 
seemed to be at all impressed by her own talents, particularly as a 
singer. While those around her were frequently astounded by her 


5 voice, she merely shrugged. 





“I never thought I was talented, or particularly special,” she told 
3 me in February 2007, four months into Back To Black’s romp to- 
wards 16 million worldwide sales. “I just thought, ‘Yeah, I can sing, 





cool.' Alot of people can sing, d'you know what I mean? I still don't 
think it's that special, to be honest." 


HE FIRST CLUES AS TO THE MUSICAL INFLUENCES 
that would shape Back To Black were the ever-changing snip- 





bets of songs Winehouse left as her outgoing voicemail 
8 Боё 


Э 
2 
3 messages throughout 2005. Although they weren't touring together 
8 that year, Dale Davis called the singer often to check in with her. 

ж 


*You could hear on her answering machine the style of music 
going from the ’60s girl groups to Т he S pecials,” he says. “So, you 
groug Ы 





4 knew the direction she was going in. She wouldn’t necessarily talk 
2 about it, but you knew уу hat was going through her mind." 

© In truth, Winehouse was having. a ter rible year, heartbroken 
= after splitting from her then-boy friend (and future husband ) Blake 






Fielder-Civil. Reaching for a bottle of Jack Daniel's from the 
` moment she woke, she was a sobbing mess, with one particular 
song providing the repeat-play soundtrack to her romantic grief. 
“I was listening to the fucking Shangri-Las’ I Can Never Go 
Home Anymore on a loop," Amy told me, , her face lighting up when 


70 MOJO 


№ A ^» 


recording once and that's all she needed to see (му GHI 


Winehouse in New York City, 
2003; (left, clockwise from 
top left) Amy and brother 

] Alex, circa 1991; self-portraits 
from her notebook, 2005; 
Paul O'Duffy, producer; 
Darcus Beese, Island A&R. 


WORMS, И И 
ТАКОВ WO 
СІН," АМҰ WHEREHIOUS! 


relating the grim melodrama of Shadow Morton's 1965 

tale of a lovestruck schoolgirl who runs away from 
home, only to fatally break the heart of her mother. 

"It's the most depressing song," she marvelled. “1 

love that bit: 'She grew so lonely in the end/The 

angels picked her for their friend.' I'd be like that, 

«ее. glug glug glug, crying my eyes out. To the point 

where my flatmate used to come home from work, 

2 see me on the kitchen floor with my bottle and be like, 

‘Urgh, and just turn around and leave. She knew there was 

nothing she could do." 

Producer Paul O’Duffy, co-writer of Wake Up Alone, the first 
song completed for Back To Black, similarly recalls Winehouse being 
in thrall to The Shangri-Las. 

“She loved the idea with (һе ’60s girl groups that it's everything 
or nothing, in terms of the relationship," he says. *She was very 
interested in the devastation aspect of it. For it to be brutal in 
that way and not a nuanced thing. Y'know, *My heart's bleeding, 
I'm gonna die.” 

О” Duffy had previous experience recording the self-titled 1996 
debut album of north London soul enigma Lewis” Taylor. The people 
at Island Records figured he could cr catively negotiate with another 
"difficult" artist. The producer's first impression of Winehouse was 
that she was friendly, yet somehow distant and easily distracted. 
“Гуе met Van Morrison once before,” he says, “and it was that same 
sort of a slight disconnect." 

In early writing sessions at O'Duffy's home studio in High Bar- 
net — sometimes cancelled when Winehouse turned up deuce after 
pulling an all-nighter — she didn’t seem to be engaging with the 
track they were working on, which had been inspired by the pro- 
ducer introducing the singer to Deep In The Night, the closing song 
on 1972 album Sarah Vaughan With Michel Legrand. 

“She had a book, and she would be drawing pictures of herself 
with love hearts and things, and you knew she was off in another 
world,” O'Duffy explains. “Then ‘she started writing lyrics and at a 


certain point, she said, ‘Oh, I’ve got something.’ 18 the normal 


process, a singer might share that lyrical or melodic idea. But it 
wasn't, ‘Shall I just try this bit here?’ She sang it in one take. I was 
like, ‘Wow, where does this come from?" 

John Harrison, AKA P*nut, had a very similar experience with 
Winehouse when, around the same time, he produced the original 
demo of He Can Only Hold Her, based on a sample from (My Girl) 
She's A Fox by The Iceme n, the 1966 R&B single featuring Jimi 
Hendrix on guitar. 

“Га be constructing the track, but she wasn't really forthcoming 
in what she was gonna be doing," Harrison remembers. *She was 
really private about it. I ke »pt on saying, ‘Right, we've been in here 
four ‘days.’ What the fuck, basically? 

“So, I didn’t have any concept of the lyrics or her melody until 
she one day said, ‘OK, set up the mike.’ She just recorded two 
vocals and they really were totally perfect. It was amazing. She’d 
worked everything out in her head.” 

Back over in Miami in December 2005, Winehouse hooked up 
once again with Salaam Remi, with one page alone of her lyric book 
yielding the beginnings of Back To Black tracks Addicted, Just 
Friends and Tears Dry On Their Own. Together the pair went 
record shopping for further inspiration, buying up albums by The 
“5” Royales and The Platters and listening to Neil Diamond’s 1958 
lovelorn weepie Blue Destiny. 

Moreover, having heard the tales of Winehouse's drunkenness 
and blown sessions emanating from London, Remi was very happy 
to see that the singer had cleaned up her act. 

“She had a thing where she didn’t ever drink when she came out 
to work with me,” he says. “When we started Back To Black her eyes 
were really clear and really crystal green. So, I could look at her and 
tell she’d detoxed from alcohol.” 

Nonetheless, despite Winehouse making creative headway in 
Miami, Island Records and EMI Music Publishing were keen to 
throw the net wider. “They suggested that she go to New York and 
work with Mark Ronson,” says Remi. “Which she wasn’t really up 
for. She was like, ‘Why have I got to go there?” 


КИ 


forbiddingly creaky elevator with doors you opened by hand, and so 


ARKRONSON'S ALLIDO STUDIO WAS LOCATED 
in a former industrial building on Mercer Street 
in SoHo. The place was still equipped with a 


when Winehouse first arrived at his door in March 2006 Ronson 
decided to go down and meet her in the street. And there she was, 
unmistakable in her teetering, soon-to-be-iconic beehive, satin > 


үү: 


THE RECORDS THAT PLAYED ON AMY 
WINEHOUSE'S INNER JUKEBOX, 
BY DANNY ECCLESTON. 


THE SHIANIGRI- 
1 CAN NEVER GO HOME ANYMORE 


(Red Bird single, 1965) 
AUS Number 6 for 
the Queens girl 
group.Long 
sections of deadpan 
poken word from 


Mary Weiss -telling 
ofa runaway teen and the tragic 
impact on her mother - up the 
gothic ante, while the girls’ 
unvarnished voices lend a docu- 
mentary verité. Like punk Spector. 


SARAH VWAUGIHIARI 
SARAH VAUGHAN WITH MICHEL LEGRAND 
(Mainstream, 1972) 
m Late-ish Vaughan 
Ы but as “Divine” 
as ever, with 
anextra-rich 
bluesiness іп her 
lower register. 
Winehouse would cite Deep In The 
Night, the closing song from this 
collaboration with the French film 
music maestro. You can see howits 
frank sensuality and theme of 
early-hours longing hit home. 


NEN ДАММ 

BLUE DESTINY 

(from In My Lifetime, 1996) 

[. . . - | Diamond called this 
1958 demo his first 
composition to 
һауе “ап етобіопа! 
effect”, but it would 
take the release of 
anarchive comp for 
it to see the light of 
day. An Everly 
Brothers influence 

is is clear onthis elegant song forthe 

dumped, one of Back To Black's 
audio іпѕрігегѕ. 


DIN AI 
WV/ASIBIIIRIGTORI 
TEACH ME TONIGHT 


(Mercury single, 1954) 
Exquisite phrasing 
and crystal diction 
froma singer 
| who combined 
sophistication and 
” | passionate intensity. 
Winehouse sang this on Jools 


ШЙ CURIE WINWIL 


Holland's New Year’s Eve TV showin 
2004 and made “Let's start with the 
ABC of it/Roll right down to the XYZ 
of it” sound as slyly erotic as Sammy 
Cahn surely intended. 


DONNY HATHAWAY 

(Atco, 1971) 

Winehouse always noted her debt 
to Hathaway, who died in 1979 beset 
by mental health problems (see 
MOJO 303). From this album of 
covers, she fixed on his aching take 
on Leon Russell’s dramatic A Song 
For You. Amy’s version on Lioness: 
Hidden Treasures sounds like 

she’s barely clinging on. 


STETIT [9 1197 4 
BODY AND SOUL 


በ Vocalion single, 1940) 
ЕС | Amyhadmore than 
| atouch of Holiday's 
slur and sense that 
I| she was singing 
; | mainly to herself. 
= | This 1940 version of 
thetune Winehouse would tackle 
with Tony Bennett is beautiful and 
poised; a 1957 version on Verve, cut 
two years before Holiday’s death, 
is spare and poignantly crushed. 


RUBY ANID ТШЕ 
ROMARNTICS 

OUR DAY WILL COME 

(Kapp single, 1963) 


The deliciously 
a creamy alto pipes of 
К<” Akron's Ruby Nash 
were never better 
Ж” framed than by the 
tiki-bar bossanova 
andglockenspiel-a-go-go of her 
group's debut (US Number 1) smash. 
Amy's 2002 recording - buffed 
up for the posthumous Lioness - 
is one of the most openand 
sunny things she ever did. 





ИШДИ 
. 





Neil Diamond in 
1967. His Blue 
Destiny demo had 


on Winehouse. 





“ап emotional effect" 











jacket, jeans shorts and leopard skin 
ballet pumps. 

Ronson introduced himself and 
Winehouse gave him a puzzled look. 
Perhaps imagining the archetype of a 
white New York hip-hop producer to be 
someone like Rick Rubin, she said, *Oh, 
you're Mark Ronson? I thought you 
were like an old guy with a beard or 
something." Upstairs in the studio, to 
break the awkwardness and build trust, 
Ronson talked to her about music, dis- 
covering shared tastes in Motown, early-’70s 
soul and '90s hip-hop. The singer then intro- 
duced the producer to The Shangri-Las. 

“[ was really inspired,” Ronson told MOJO 
in 2015. “Both by her and the kind of music she 
was talking about wanting to make. So, when she 
left that night, I wrote the piano part and the 
music for [title track] Back To Black and then I 
played it for her the next morning.” 

True to character, Winehouse didn’t give 
much away, and left to make a call. In fact, she was talking to Darcus 
Beese in London, arranging to stay on in New York for motke five 
days to work with Ronson. Taking her guitar and a tape of the in- 
strumental into another room, Winehouse quickly came up with 
the lyrics and melody. “She wrote B Back To Black i in, like, three 
hours," Ronson remembered. “It’s crazy.’ 

The singer was once again similarly swift when it came to nailing 
her always part- improvised vocal takes. “It was so honest," Ronson 
stressed. “She would never sing it the same way twice, 'cos that 
felt un-genuine. It's like, *Well, why would I do it again the same 
exactly? Then it becomes false.” 

For his part, the producer saw through Winehouse's apparent 
disregard of her vocal talents: *There was a side of her that knew she 
had a fucking amazing voice and could smoke any singer out there. 
But she'd ake a throwaway, self- -deprecating joke the second the 
take was over. Y’know, ‘Oh, that’s shit.’ But kinda knowing that it 
was amazing at the same time.” 

On a break from the studio, wandering around SoHo, Wine- 
house told Ronson how, in the depths of the previous year, her 
management had suggested she go to a treatment facility for her 
drinking. It was beginning of Rehab. 

"I sang the hook just out of nowhere, as a joke,” Winehouse told 
me. “He started laughing and he went, ‘Who’s that?’ I went, ‘What 
do you mean? I just made it up.’ He was like, “That would be so cool 
if that was a song.’ The songs just wrote themselves because I had so 
much subject matter.” 

At first, Winehouse imagined Rehab as a slow Johnny Cash- 
styled country blues, before Ronson souped it up with Motown 


(3), Alpha Press, Camera Press 


Avalon.red 


72 MOJO 


beats and scratchy electric 
guitars. To Winehouse’s 
ears, it sounded like The 
Libertines. “Mark was like, 
‘Aren’t they the shit 
Strokes?’” she remembered. 
*[ said, ‘Mark, The Liber- 
tines made people proud to 
be British. That was London 
for a real spell, y’know.”” 

Other tracks quickly fol- 
lowed: the sad and resigned 
Love Is A Losing Game; the brazen 
sex comedy of You Know I’m 
No Good, with its admission that 
she’d two-timed Fielder-Civil and 
vivid details including that “likkle 
carpet burn”. 

When I asked Winehouse how 
much of the latter lyric was true, 
she was surprisingly mortified. 

“Oh! Like, come on!” she ex- 
claimed, flushing with embarrass- 
ment. “I forget these things, though, d’you 
know what I mean? Yeah. Blake hates it. He’s 
really proud of me, but it’s so personal it must 
be hard. When I’m like, pen to paper, I’m the 
most honest I get.” 

Mark Ronson took the basic tracks he’d re- 
corded at Allido with Winehouse and fleshed 
them out with amorphous retro soul outfit 
The Dap-Kings in their Brooklyn studio, Dap- 
tone, housed in a Bushwick brownstone. 

“Tt was a pretty rundown, shitty place,” says Dap- 
Kings guitarist Tom Brenneck. “When I made the pil- 
grimage to Detroit to go to Motown, I was blown 
away by how much bigger their live room was. High 
ceilings and the whole shebang. Man, there was ahigh 
ceiling at Daptone because they ripped it out and you 
were looking at the pipes to the kitchen above." 

The Dap-Kings played live together in the room, 
crammed vir tually shoulder-to- shoulder recording 
to tape. Winehouse was by this point back in London and so 
Ronson spun in her isolated vocals, as the band performed, using a 
CD DJ unit. “Maybe it'd be a little out of time here and there,” says 
Brenneck, *but Mark would basically manipulate her a cappella to 
go along with us.” 

Darcus Beese flew to New York to hear the results at Allido and 
was instantly blown away. “Yeah, you could say that,” he laughs. 
“The first song Mark play ed me was Rehab and I was just like, 
‘Rewind that tune, man! What the fuck is that?’ Mark and Amy had 
sat down for weeks and really homed in on what it was she was try- 
ing to achieve. People were doing all that pastiche throwback stuff 


at the time, but Amy was the real deal." 
M had sketched out with Salaam Remi in Miami now 
sounded decidedly downtempo in comparison to the 
Ronson-produced tracks. Beese: “1 played Salaam the Mark Ron- 
son tracks that had that urgency and drive and I said, ‘Look, I've got 
this with Mark, and I've got this with you, Salaam. How do we 
bridge the gap?’ Salaam said, ‘Leave it with me.” 
Remi remembers, “I said, ‘All right, cool, send her out and 


EANWHILE, THE SONGS THAT WINEHOUSE 


I’m gonna figure it out and see where it needs to go.’ Darcus 
was like, ‘How do I tie it together?’ I was like, ‘It’s her... she'll tie 
it together.” 

The producer proceeded to reconfigure the slow acoustic jazz of 
Me And Mr Jones as an attitude-charged doo wop track. Just 
Friends, originally named I’ve Been Drinking, was transformed 
from a moody ballad into pacey reggae. But it was Remi’s > 










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<< dramatic overhaul of Tears Dry On Their Own 
that would produce one of Back To Black's standout 
moments, after he discovered online leaks of some 
of the isolated backing tracks of Marvin Gaye & 
Tammi Terrell's Ain't No Mountain High Enough. 

"T was sitting there listening to it and I was tell- 
ing Amy, “Tears Dry could [work over] that,” 
Remi says. "She just could not hear it. I almost had 
to sing it pretty much to get her to figure it out, and 
she still was frustrated. Being One-Take Amy, that's the 
most [outtake] swearing that I recorded of her, ever. 

“But it was just really the whole idea of her singing very sad lyrics 
against an encouraging backing track. That juxtaposition, and also 
making it one of the faster records on the album, kind of gave it 
another level of spark." 

Originally, the plan had been for Remi and Winehouse to com- 
plete these final Back To Black sessions at his Creative Space studio. 
But the producer had recently moved into a new house, and the 
singer was far keener on working there. 

"It was a two-storey ceiling, wooden living room," he says. “She 
walked іп and was like, ‘I want to sing right here.’ She recorded all 
of her vocals standing in the middle of the floor. I just put all the 
equipment in that house. 1 bought a piano, put in a Rhodes and the 
organ and the drum kit. You hear the sound of that room on Me 
And Mr Jones." 

Back in New York, Winehouse began rehearsing with The Dap- 
Kings, who became her American touring band for a series of shows 
and TV appearances. Sax player Neal Sugarman set up the first 
rehearsal in a friend's basement in Brooklyn. 

“I didn't even think, ‘Oh, I should get some fancy rehearsal 
space in the city, because this is like a budding rock star,” he laughs. 


Alpha Press, O'Rourke/GoffPhotos.com, Getty, Harvey Fox 


“I think she actually really liked that part of it. She was real late to 


74 MOJO 


Winehouse at Glastonbury, 2007; (opposite, clockwise 
from top left) The Dap-Kings, 2003, with Sharon Jones, Tom 
Brenneck (far right) and Neal Sugarman (third from right); 
on-stage and in some distress, Belgrade, Serbia, June 18, 

| 2011; with rapper Nas, Covent Garden, London, July 2010. 


МЕМ 





the rehearsal because she went into our favourite record 
store, Academy Records in Williamsburg, and showed 
up with a stack of Dinah Washington and cool doo 
wop and soul records. So, immediately it was really 
easy to connect with her. It was like, ‘Oh, she digs 
these old records like we do.” 

Winehouse's first New York show with The Dap- 
Kings was at the 180-capacity Joe's Pub in the East 
Village on January 16, 2007. Tom Brenneck remembers 
there being an instant industry buzz around the singer: 

“Dr. John was in the audience, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Mos Def. АП 
these iconic musicians in that tiny little space." 

As the shows progressed — from South By Southwest to Coachella 
to The Roxy in Los Angeles — it was clear to Neal Sugarman that 
Back To Black was appealing to all types. “It was an eye-opening 
experience,” he says. “We were playing to such a wide variety of 
people. Like, black people, white people, gay, straight, young, old, 
misfits. People were flipping out hearing those songs. It was super 
fun to be playing that music for people who were really loving that 
album and having a chance to see her perform. Which, y’know, we 
know now was a rare experience, unfortunately.” 

“She didn’t love performing,” reckons Tom Brenneck. “She 
would be happy to just fuck off in the middle of the show. We were 
kind of used to putting on shows, really engaging with the audience. 
She would kill it, but I don’t think she loved it, and these shows 
were jam-packed, sold out.” 

Released in October 2006, Back To Black sold quickly, turning 
six times platinum in the UK alone by the end of 2007. Dale 
Davis, leading her British live band, watched it blow up first-hand. 
He even witnessed Winehouse taking some rare credit for her 
accomplishments. 

“I said, ‘Well done, Amy, it’s amazing what you've achieved,” 










Davis recalls. "And she said, ‘I knew what I was doing.’ She didn't 
mean that in an arrogant way, but she'd got the formula right. The 
songs are very short, to the point, so descriptive. She was not only 
a great performer, but an absolutely incredible songwriter." 

Di ІІ HE NEXT ALBUM'S ALL GONNA BE ABOUT 
songs that were left over from this one," Amy insist- 
ed to me at the start of 2007. “’Cos I’ve got so mu 

As long as Гуе got a voice and I’ve got two hands and I can play 

guitar and sing, y'know, I'm the wodd s ha] woman really." 

But as we now know, outside influences, suc len megawatt fame 
and runaway habits overwhelmed Winehouse throughout 2007 
-= into 2008: her dangerous reunion with and marriage to Fielder- 

ivil, intense daily harassment by the paparazzi, her seemingly 
uncontrollable urges to obliterate herself with crack and heroin. 

“Her whole situation escalated so quickly that it caught everyone 

,” says Dale Davis. “At the start of 2008, the perfor- 

mances started to get erratic. This is no slight on Amy at all, y know, 


SO unawares 


because it was the pressures of life.” 

Davis acknowledges that Winehouse’s drug use took a perhaps 
irreparable toll on her voice but says that there were times when 
her singing was still dazzling and deeply felt. “Yeah, I think the 
indulgences did have an effect,” he states. “I’m not sure if she'd 
damaged her lungs. But I spent an evening with her in 2008 after 


she'd won all the Grammys and we were listening to Thelonious 


Monk and she was just singing all these parts. 5 y single 
note and they're complex to follow. She just had it all down." 

Big offers arrived in the wake of Back To Black, not least for 
Winehouse to write and sing the theme for 2008 James Bond film, 
Quantum Of Solace. Mark Ronson and Bond soundtrack composer 
David Arnold worked up a track that was, in the words of the latter, 
"a contemporary post-'60s piece". 

^] was on the baritone guitar playing very John Barr 
stuff,” says Tom Brenneck. * The way Mark does anything, he went 
in hard and really trie = to write something sp al. It would have 
been ir ible, man.” 
Progress on the track stalled when Winehouse failed to come up 


with any completed ly or melodies. Ronson publicly stated that 


> 


Amy was “not ready to record any music” laam Remi, in > 





WOIICIEOIF 
ШІТІЗЗІЗ ТІПТІ: 


AMY, AMY, AMY, AND MORE AMY 
IN VICTORIA SEGAL’S VINTAGE 
WINEHOUSE PLAYLIST. 











TEARS DRY ON 
THEIR OWA 

(Back To Black, 2006) 

Constructed around Ain't No 
Mountain High Enough - here, more 
statement of pure abjection than 
declaration of love’s all-conquering 
power - this beautiful studyin 
romantic hopelessness unfolds in 
the Hopper-like “blue shade” ofa 
hotel room. “He walks away, the sun 
goes down" - it’sarelationship’s 
final frame on endless repeat. 


J HEARD 
LOWE WS IBILIRIID 


(Frank, 2003) 
~] There’sa filthy, flirty 
Sands Hotel 
playfulness to this 
Iwan Š ене g| role-reversing 
| | revenge fantasy, ап 
E A all-cats-are-grey 
apology for infidelity that sees 
Winehouseargue she only slept 
with another man because he 
resembled her boyfriend: “He’s just 
not as tall but I couldn't tell/It was 
በ፳፻፪ 8በ61 ነ/85|ሃ| በ9 down.” 


IN MIY BED 

(Frank, 2003) 

Another Frank power move, this 
track separates love and sex with a 
withering eye, 8 warning toa 
returning lover not to get too 
comfortable: “Listen, this isn’t a 
reunion/So sorry if | turn my head." 
Theskittish trip-hop backing, 
meanwhile, suggests the singer's 
attention is already elsewhere, the 
time for pillow talk over. 





МАШ РӘШ 


(Single, 2007) 


Originally recorded 
for Mark Ronson’s 
solo Version LP, this 
cover of The Zutons’ 
| 2006 single was one 
of the rare modern 
tracks to infiltrate Winehouse’s 
pre-1967 tastes. She makes the most 
of it, every line imprinted with 
yearning desire, the sound of 
somebody asking for something 
they know they might not get. 


IRIE TH ALB 

(Amy Winehouse At The BBC, 2021) 
From origins asa dark, self-depre- 
cating joke, this personal protest 
song became harder to hear over 
time. This live version froma 
Porchester Hall show in 2007 
catches all its jutting defiance, 








Winehouse carried through its 
undertow by her band, her voice 
flying on “| just, I just needa friend.” 


WALI TO |3 

(Lioness: Hidden Treasures, 2011) 
This mellow, fluting 
outtake from Frank 
(developed for 
Lioness with Ahmir 
‘Questlove’ 
Thompson on 
drums) could stand asa Winehouse 
origin story: a sweet-voiced, 
heartfelt testament to music's 
power. Faultlines and nerve endings 
still show through, though: “When 
Frank Sinatra sings,” she swoons, 
“it's too much to take." 


HIELP YOURSIEIL IF 
(Frank, 2003) 

With hindsight, the Doris Day 
sample is heavily ironic, but there’s 
abreeze and brightness here, a 
reminder of Winehouse's early direct 
charm. Over a gingham-patterned 
groove, Winehouse tells her older 
lover - with a philosophy degree, no 
less – that she’s the one wise beyond 
her years: no fools suffered here. 





AMY 
WINEHOUSE 


AT THE BBC 








YOU МОЗГ 
ТЕМ RIO GOOID 
(Amy Winehouse At The BBC, 2021) 


With its beatnik percussion and 
close-up vocals, there’s a pleasing 
intimacy to this 2007 radio session 
cut. Yet there’s nothing laid-backin 
Winehouse's forensic document of 
infidelity, the flipside of | Heard Love 
Is Blind. Bar, bedroom, bathtub - she 
ensures you see it all, but the carpet 
burn is nothing compared tothe 
self-laceration. 


LOWE WS 
LOSING GAMIE 

(Back To Black, 2006) 

This Prince favourite was included 
ona Cambridge University English 
paper, elegant gambling metaphors 
and judgmental gods giving ita 
classical beauty, but there’s nothing 
academic about it: this comes from 
hard-lived experience. Transcend- 
ing the chaos that created it, it’s a 
fabulous display of control and 
concision, marble-solid testament 
to Winehouse's gifts. 


sh CN SM CON S] ААС 
(Back To Black, 2006) 

For pure drama, Winehouse never 
bettered this: from the set-up, 
immediate as a movie script (“He left 
no time to regret/Kept his dick wet”) 
tothe tolling bells, it’s grand theatre. 
Yet as the darkness rolls in, there’sa 
real sense of a light going out- not 
for the first time, not for the last. 








<< England at the time, drove down to the studio, The Doghouse 
in Henley-on-Thames, where Winehouse was attempting to work. 

"Granted she wasn't in her best shape," Remi says. *She'd carved 
into a piece of wood in the studio, part of the furniture, with a knife, 


like a heart with a bow going through it, that said, *Mark Loves 
Mark.’ (Laughs) I looked at it and I was like, ‘You’re an asshole.” 

Remi asked the singer if she had anything else she'd been work- 
ing on and she opened her book to show im a lyric titled Between 
The Cheats. “She grabs the guitar, and she starts playing around 
with it," he says. «She starts mumbling a little bit with the lyrics. So, 

I played a little bit of жең a little of guitar, put bass and the drums 
on it. Then she goes in the booth and she basically sang the song." 

Further sessions were booked with Remi in May 2008 at Peter 

Gabriel’s Real World Studios near Bath, but the distractions of the 
capital were too close for Winehouse to resist. Then, in 2009, Remi 
and Winehouse found themselves on the eastern Caribbean island 
of Saint Lucia at the same time. By this point Winehouse was free 
of hard drugs, still drinking but comparatively on the mend, spend- 
ing her days horse-riding and swimming in the sea. 

Remi suggested they try to record some tracks in the house he’d 
rented. Dale Davis and the UK band were flying in to play the Saint 
Lucia Jazz Festival with the singer in the first week of May. The 
creative stars seemed to be aligning. 

“But that trip wasn’t fruitful as far as the recording,” Remi 
laments. “She wrote a lot of stuff. We ended up having the full 
tracklist, but we just didn’t get the chance to record it.” The prob- 
lem, once again, was Winehouse’s lack of focus. “She’d be there,” 
the producer adds, “but then she’d go off for one too many horse- 
back rides for me.” 


ACK IN LONDON, FRESH ATTEMPTS WERE MADE 


to push forward with the third album in the latter half of 
2009. Salaam Remi worked with Winehouse in the attic of 


a house that she lived in for a short time back in Southgate, together 
recording a version of Leon Russell's A Song For You (known to the 
singer through Donny Hathaway's 1971 version on his eponymous 
second album). Then, at the start of 2010, the sessions moved to 
Assault & Battery Studios in Willesden, north-west London. 
“Those were probably the last proper sessions,” Remi says. “I 
can’t say that there were finished tracks. We had a running list. 
Every song that she had a title for. She had it all in the book and 
I knew the lyrics and I knew what I had to get done. I was just 
waiting for the g green light: *OK, now we're gonna record." 
Amid the false starts and frustrations, ideas kept 
springing up: a jazz album involving Questlove and 
Mos Def; a record of what Winehouse imagined as 
Wu-Tang Clan-style “battle raps”. 
remembers making a start on a project with the 


Salaam Remi even 


singer based on sampling Vince Guaraldi’s com- 4 
us J ብ ሬ М ы / 
positions for the Charlie Brown animations. / 

“So, we had ideas and pieces and things ሪ 
that we laid out,” he says. “It could've been 
anything. She'd already grown so many 
levels. And she was obsessive. So, whatever 
she got into, she was gonna go all the way there." 

Wounds inflicted over the nixed Bond theme healed, 
Winehouse had even begun talking to Mark Ronson 
about working together again. 

5 tog 8 

“We had time scheduled to go in, in October 2011, 

and we’d spoken a couple of times,” Ronson told 
“ » » 7 " 1 7; 7 1 

MOJO. “I was always hoping we were going to go 

back in.” 

As to any future musical direction Winehouse 


might have pursued, Ronson reasoned that 
Remi оп Amy: 

“We lost a great 

lyrical voice.” 


Avalon.red 


“obviously jazz was gonna be at the core. 


76 MOJO 


















That's what felt the most, I guess, innate, and close to her in the way 
that she wrote.” 

Salaam Remi was in London in the July of 2011 and planned to 
visit Winehouse at her Camden Square house on Saturday the 23rd. 
He called ahead and left a message for the singer’s security guard, 
Andrew Morris. “He calls me back and says, ‘She passed.’ I said, 
‘What do you mean?’ I ended up going to the house and outside 
there were already maybe two or three press cars, so I run around 
the back. Yeah, and that was that." 

Тһе St Pancras Coroner's Court report attributed Amy Wine- 
house's death to alcohol poisoning. Her system had likely been 
weakened by years of bulimia. Meanwhile, she had refused psycho- 
logical therapy to combat her alcoholism. 

"She only needed to take one step to try and get herself back," says 
Dale Davis. *But unfortunately, that one step was always too great." 


N THE NUMBED MONTHS THAT FOLLOWED AMY'S 

passing, the creative teams and Island Records began piecing 

together a posthumous album. Lioness: Hidden Teiste, re- 
leased in December 201 1, was understandably patchy. 

“It was what it was,” says Salaam Remi. “It made me look back and 
really listen to it all." Given the spontaneity with which Winehouse 
liked to record, there wasn't much to choose from. “It was like, ‘Oh 
wow, there aren't other takes of these vocals,” Remi stresses. 

In Miami, Remi put finishing touches to various tracks, including 
Between The Cheats, a lovers rock take on '60s R&B group Ruby And 
The Romantics’ Our Day Will Come, and the spy thriller-ish Like 
Smoke, with added rhymes from Nas, which found the rapper imag- 
ining a poignant search around Camden “hunting for the answers”. 

“Like smoke I hang around and be your balance,” says Remi, 
quoting Winehouse's lyric. *She was hanging round our [mix] bal- 
ance (laughs). Hanging over our shoulders." 

As to usable Amy Winehouse music that might remain in the 

vault, Remi sounds ambivalent. “There are recordings, there are 
pieces,” he says. “I’m sure someone could scour the bottom and 
make it something. I probably could... maybe in 20 years." 

Ultimately, a decade on from her death, it seems that the power 
and impact of Amy Winehouse's music has only grown stronger. 
“This is the big thing,” stresses Dale Davis. “It’s amazing. I'm 
meeting more and more people who, no matter what age, 
they're influenced by her. The influence never goes away. I 
look at her now as the first star of this millennium." 

*She could naturally write great songs and they came 
from a place of pain,” says Tom Brenneck. “Which makes 
people just instantly feel them. Any songwriter who writes 
į from that place well, like Hank Williams ог somebody, 
you're gonna get incredible songs that go outside the gen- 
re. Which is what she did. Love Is A Losing Game could 
be a country song." 

Salaam Remi calls Love Is A Losing Game a 
modern standard. He mentions how highly 
Prince rated the song, performing it live with 
f Winehouse at a London aftershow at the O2 
Indigo in September 2007, and subsequently sanc- 
tioning his recorded acoustic version (featuring 
singer Andy Allo) for release within 24 hours 
of her death. 

“I mean, you don't get Prince [covering] your 
song for no reason,” he says. “We lost a great lyri- 
cal voice, a great talent. Someone who was able to 

flawlessly explain how they felt in a song. And those 
things last. 

“Just as Amy was inspired by people who passed 
away before her birth," Remi concludes, “she will 
inspire people who were born after she was gone." @ 











MOJO FILI ርኩ 


YOUR GUIDE TO THE MONTH'S BEST MUSIC 


EDITED BY JENNY BULLEY jenny.bulley()bauermedia.co.uk 











ALBUMS 


All signs pointto the return of Durand Jones & 
The Indications 

Chrissie Hynde pays tribute to Bob Dylan 

David Crosby’s purple patch continues 

King of the hill country blues: Cedric Burnside 

Treasure seekers Modest Mouse 

Plus, Lump, Lukas Nelson, Yola, Paul McCartney, 
The Wallflowers, Tony Allen, Sufjan Stevens, 
Joan Armatrading and more. 


REISSUES 


Laura Nyro gets an extensive archival overhaul 

How Mudhoney saved Sub Pop and charted 
higher than Nevermind 

lan Carr's the star 

The White Stripes’ vinyl demos cache 

The indescribable Annette Peacock 

Plus, Alice Cooper, David Bowie, Miles Davis, 
Noel Gallagher, Belgian prog jazz and more. 


HOW TO BUY 


Super Furry Animals: psychedelic pop thrills. 


SCREEN 


Biggie & Tupac: the sequel, the legend of Sam 
Cooke, designated driver Dave Grohl and more. 


BOOKS 


Will Sergeant: the Bunnymen founder tells his 
story. Plus, pop genius in the ‘80s, Buzzcocks 
by song, Dylan, Nico, Miss Mercy and more. 








Allen, Tony 97 | Hynde, Chrissie 82 | Portico Quartet 85 
Amarante, Rodrigo 83 Hypnotic Brass Prescott, Adam & 
Armatrading, Joan 83 Ensemble 88 Conscious, Dougie 87 
Barber, Chris 97 Irvine, Andy 99 Real Tuesday Weld, The 84 
Birds Of Maya 88 | Jones, Durand & Ribot, Marc 85 
Bowie, David 98 | Thelndications 78 | Roberts, Alasdair 88 
Branch, Jaimie 85 Keuning 86 Satomimagae 89 
Breathless 95 King Gizzard And Scientists, The 80 
Burnside, Cedric 86 The Lizard Wizard 80 Seafoam Green 88 
Cain, Chris 88 Kings Of Convenience 86 | Snapped Ankles 89 
Carr's Nucleus, lan 97 Lanterns On Sorrows, The 94 
Changüí 87 | TheLake 95 | Squirrel Flower 86 
Coloursound 84 | Lipstick Killers, The 98 | Stevens, Sufjan 84 
Cooley, Mike, Hood, lump 83 | Tabane, Philip 94 
Patterson & Isbell, Mack, Lonnie 94 Tucker, Rosie 83 
Jason 89 Maridalen 85 UB40 87 
Cooper, Alice 94 Martin, Kevin Richard 81 U-Roy 87 
Crosby, David 81 McCartney, Paul 83 | VA: JCR Records Story 
Davis, Miles 98 Merseybeats, The 94 | VolumeTwo 97 
Dear, Matthew 95 Mistreater 95 VA: Hurdy Gurdy 
Elfman, Danny 86 | Modest Mouse 80 | Songs 99 
Flatlanders, The 87 | Motórhead 98 | VA: Studio One Roots 98 
Fretwell, Stephen 84 Mountain Goats, The 88 VA: Alligator Records 94 
Frye, Rob 85 Mudhoney 95 VA: Gary Crowley's 
Fuzzy Lights 89 | Murlocs, The 81 Lost '805 Vol. 2 94 
Gallagher, Noel 98 Murry, John 84 | VA:Progressive Jazz 
Gillespie, Bobby & MuseumOfLlove 85 | InBelgium 97 
Beth, Jehnny 80 Mvula, Laura 83 VA: Tribute To Roky 

Go! Team, The 81 Nelson, Lukas & Erickson 89 
Goon Sax, The 80 Promise Of The Real 84 Wallflowers, The 84 
Harvey, P.J. 99 Nyro, Laura 92 White Stripes, The 98 
Hiatus Kaiyote 88 Peacock,Annette 96 Williamson Brothers 89 
Hiss Golden Messenger 81 Piroshka 87 | Yola 83 














MOJO 77 





FILTER ALBU 


Courtesy Big Crown Records 


Signs of the times 


Feted Indiana soul revivalists embrace the dancefloor and survey a nation in crisis 
on timeless, irresistible third album. By Stevie Chick. Illustration by Panik. 


Durand Jones & 


The Indications 
ЖЖЖЖ 


Private Space 


SECRETLY CANADIAN. CD/DL/LP 


F THE PAST is indeed a foreign country, then 

Durand Jones & The Indications are such regular 

visitors that they no longer have to show their 
passports at immigration. Certainly, they’ve spent 
long enough there to have adopted the local customs 
and to be able to pass themselves off as natives. 

Forming almost a decade ago while students at 
Jacobs School Of Music in Bloomington, Indiana, 
Jones and his bandmates were united by a love for 
classic soul and R&B. Theirs was no casual, passing 
fancy. Their two previous albums, 2016’s self-titled 
debut and 2019’s American Love Call, reveal a 


“Subtle 


messages are 
woven into the 
fabric of the 
balladry." 











BACH STORY: 
SUNNY SIDE UP 
ө Private Space was 
preceded this spring by 
anew version of the 
group's early B-side 
Cruisin' To The Park, 
re-recorded with 
Mexican-American 
group Y La Bamba to 
salute the Indications" 
early adopters in the 
Chicano low-rider 
community. “When we 
started touring back in 
2017, on the West Coast 
the Chicano folks would 
come out in droves to 
see us, pulling up out 
front of the venues in 
their low-rider cars,” says 
Jones. “The first time | 
realised how much soul 
meant to the Chicano 
community, we were 
playing this tune called 
Should | Take You Home 
by ['60s Chicano soul 
singer] Sunny Ozuna and 
the Sunliners [pictured], 
and the whole crowd 
started singing along. 
They respected and 
embraced us for doing 
that song and giving 
props to Sunny Ozuna. 
When the kind of soul 
music we play had gone 
underground, the 
Chicano community kept 
it together, they were 
our first supporters. For 
that | will always feel 
thankful and blessed.” 











78 MOJO 


painstaking ear for the vernacular and 
technique of the soul music of half-a-century 
ago. This ability is in part down to their 
uncanny approximation of era-appropriate 
arrangements and production methods, 
achieving a level of verisimilitude that places 
them in the lineage of soul revivalists 
Ld መጨ: x back from Sharon Jones and the 
Daptone movement, to Amy Winehouse's 
Back To Black (the commercial apex and acme 
of this sound), and beyond. So eerie is their 
feel for period detail, these albums conjured 
images of Lee Mavers of The La’s’ quixotic 
(and possibly apocryphal) search for studio 
gear thick with “authentic '60s dust”. 

But Jones and his Indications’ gift goes 
deeper than mere technique and technical 
wizardry. Their songwriting is supple, 
natural, never audibly reaching for a vibe it 
can’t achieve; their loving approach ensures 
their tunes never feel like pastiches of old 
styles. And their two main vocalists span 
enough of a spectrum that their harmonies 
are able to conjure the sound of classic vocal 
groups like The Stylistics and The Delfonics, 
Jones’s deeper, warmer, stronger tones 
playing off drummer Aaron Frazer’s higher- 
register, gossamer-light vocals. 

Their third album suggests they are 
aware that this backwards focus might soon 
have become a cul-de-sac. The group have 


responded by embracing more contemporary 


influences — but only relatively. Over the 
page, Jones cites disco and “bedroom R&B” 
as Private Space’s key sonic reference points, 
and the album depicts the Indications 
shaking loose the bonds of 1974 to enter 
the headily futuristic realm that was 1977. 
But only a  churl would grumble over the 
unabashedly retro nature of music as sweetly 
satisfying and as soulfully nourishing as this. 
The Indications apply their characteristic 
ear for detail to the disco era on Witchoo, a 


shout-out to the Chicano low-rider community that 
was the first to support them. The track seduces with 
the interplay between Jones and Frazer, the four- 
square thump of the bass drum and the rasp of the 
hi-hat, and an ambience that feels more dancefloor 
than recording studio, the background whoops, 
hollers and handclaps evoking the infectious party 
of Marvin Gaye’s Got To Give It Up. The 
Indications do disco as well as they did Philly soul. 

Disco isn’t the only mode on Private Space, 
however. The title track recalls the heavy, downcast 
vibe of Curtis Mayfield circa Right On For The 
Darkness, its epic strings billowing like brooding 
storm clouds, while Ride Or Die is another lighter- 
than-air Stylistics-style devotional, peaking as it 
breaks down to just drums, ghostly Hammond 
organ purr and Frazer’s sweet, vulnerable falsetto. 
And while the group’s gift for ersatz sounds is keenly 
accurate, the songs are never hamstrung by reverence 
for historical accuracy. Rather, they work fresh magic 
from these vintage tics and flourishes, with the 
effect that their tunes sound numinously familiar, like unexpected, 
unread chapters within a beloved and well-thumbed book. This 
knack is best displayed on More Than Ever, which weaves together 
some choice elements — the staccato horn fusillades of Curtis’s 
Give Me Your Love, a bass line conversant with Baby This Love 
That I Have by Minnie Riperton, and an ecstatic third-act key 
change recalling Donny Hathaway’ s Love, Love, Love — into an 
irre ssistible confection all its own that is perhaps the Indic ations’ 
finest song yet. This is very much “grown folk’s music” 

But while Jones and the Indications take such ab inda 
pleasure in robing themselves in the sonic garb of yesteryear, 
Private Space is very much an album about Where We're At in 2021. 
The openly political content might be sparing but suggests more 
subtle and implicit messages woven into the fabric of their balladry. 
Opener Love Will Work It Out is the sole track to make these 
issues explicit, with its nightmarish vision of Jones wandering like 
Jimmy Ruffin across a land “overtaken by disease” and reeling at 

“modern day lynchings in the streets I call home”. Inspired by the 
scale of the pandemic and the killing of George Floyd, this imagery 
is startling, purposefully unsettling, and haunts the songs that 
follow, inviting interpretation of their lyrics as further (albeit 
veiled) social commentary. The languid, beautiful Southern soul of 
Reach Out could be an offer of support to a beleaguered lover, but 
“Like a willow, you're bending but you'll never break" feels like a 
broader darlin of solidarity w ith the civil rights struggle. And 
in context of the disorienting sense of isolation wreaked by the 
pandemic, the title track’s dreamlike consummation of lust 
assumes a deeper and more profound meaning, especially when 
Frazer sings yearningly of being * ‘planets apart” but still “making 
our escape/For a moment of ecstasy.” 

Ultimately, Private Space’s message is one of hope, as spelt out by 
the tracks that bookend it. The closing I Can See finds the group 
addressing a “young world” with skies “turned to grey”, but with a 
faith that “The darkness of night/Gives way to new light.” And Love 
Will Work It Out might bear the wounds of the bleak reality of 
blackness in 21st century America, but it finds redemption in the 
messages of gospel, in believi ing “joy will set us free”. That opening 
track finds Jones reflecting on his mission to sing “some songs to 
heal some souls” — a lofty ambition, perhaps, but one this resonant 
and deeply pleasurable album achieves with grace and groove. 


DURAND ON RACIAL PREJUDICE, THE 
WORLD, AND GRANDMA'S LESSONS. 


ONES 
ኩር. 





SPACE 


"It's hard nów, 
but don’t give 
up”: Durand 
Jones makes 
all the right 
indications. 


~ 





“I want my music 
to heal people.” 


What was your aim for Private Space? 


"To expand our horizons and establish a sound that felt timeless, 
rather than retro. The band's communal Spotify playlist, 
‘Indications Inspirations’, used to feature Little Anthony And The 
Imperials, Sam Cooke, The Shirelles - vocal groups and sweet soul 
stuff. But while we were working on Private Space, it was all disco, 
‘bedroom R&B’ and cats doing really cool stuff today. We wanted 
to discover new things about ourselves." 


Is the song-title Private Space an allusion to lockdown? 


"It's one of a handful of songs we began in late 2019, and it was 
about being with someone in a crowded place but seeing only 
them in the room and, like, really wanting to get them out of there 
so you can get it on. And then, in January, the pandemic 
happened, and it took on a completely different meaning - this 
thing everyone could relate to, being home alone and within our 
private space. It just felt like the perfect title for the album, and I 
love all the effects on Aaron's voice at the end. It almost feels like 
some psychedelic tiki/jungle shit, and I'm all about it. (Laughs)" 


The line in Love Will Work It Out about “modern-day lynchings 
in the streets" is incredibly powerful. What inspired it? 


"George Floyd was a black man in Minneapolis who was arrested 
for allegedly passing counterfeit money, and a police officer 
kneeled on his neck for over eight minutes and killed him. And 
that happened right after Breonna Taylor was killed in her 
bedroom by police. felt, ‘Fuck this — | don't want to write a song, 
I don't want to talk on social media, | can't do anything but 
breathe right now. | need to keep my soul and my sanity intact." 
How much more do we have to take? How many more people 
have to die by the hands of police for us to truly receive justice? 
This shit is just exhausting. | took a step back from everything. 

| knew that the universe would make the call when it was time for 
me to make art again. Fast forward to last November, and | got 
that call. | wrote this poem, about everything that happened in 
2020, and that's where the song came from." 


The message of the song is ultimately positive, however... 


"That comes from my grandmother, who raised me and really 
believed in what Dr [Martin Luther] King stood for. She's long gone 
now, but after George Floyd died, and | was feeling despair and 
doubt, I'd think about things that she would say. And that song is 
the sort of thing she would tell me, like, ‘It’s hard right now, but 
don't give up.’ | miss her every day. | feel like she's still here with 
me, and she lives on through a song like that. People ask me if 

| want to be a star. But | just want my music to heal people, man, 

to recharge and rejuvenate their spirits." 








80 MOJO 


Bobby Gillespie 
And Jehnny Beth 


Utopian Ashes 


SONY. CD/DL/LP 


Over a quarter- 
century since 
Primal Scream 
chased South- 
ern soul per- 
fection on Give 
Out But Don't Give Up, their 
core membership here return 
to that noble quest, abandon- 
ing synths and shapeshifting 
for 'proper' songwriting, 
strings and emotional honesty. 
The duet format with Jehnny 
Beth, who plays embittered 
wife to Bobby Gillespie's 
morally bankrupt hubbie in 

a loose narrative of decline, 
works with an immediacy that 
possibly hasn't blessed the 
Scream's every collaboration. 
Heartbroken balladry, how- 
ever, was always their strong- 
est suit (think I’m Losing More 
Than ІЛІ Ever Have, the gem 
that Andrew Weatherall turned 
into Loaded), and Utopian 
Ashes is comfortably their best 
record since the early '00s, 
with guitarist Andrew Innes 
and pianist Martin Duffy each 
playing superbly, and, on 
pained standouts such as 
Remember We Were Lovers 
and Living A Lie, Gillespie's 
lyrics plumbing depths of 
degradation that feel both real 
and deeply shocking. It's not 
easy listening, but profoundly 
engaging and redemptive. 
Andrew Perry 


иши 
King Gizzard 
& The Lizard 
Wizard 





Butterfly 3000 


KGLW. CD/DL/LP 





i albums in nine 
aJ years, those 

ዬሬሙ ሪሽ records better 
be different from each other, 
or returns will inevitably 
diminish. To their credit, Stu 
McKenzie's crew have kept 
things moving; on 2019's Infest 
The Rats’ Nest, for instance, 
branching off from core psych- 
rock into apocalyptic metal. 
After recent double-whammy 
KG and LW furthered the 
music-theoretical quest of 
2017's Flying Microtonal 
Banana, this latest outing 
intrepidly ditches said six- 
string ‘fruit’ for modular 
synthesizers. Given McKenzie's 
high, wispy voicing, the obvi- 
ous reference is Tame Impala, 
but the motorik pulse propel- 
ling opener Yours flags their 
own Krautrocky bedrock, 
while Shanghai's tootling 
up-and-down melodies, which 
somehow evoke both Yellow 
Magic Orchestra grandeur and 





Go-Kart Mozart banality, 
above all transmit King Gizzard 
kookiness. Further in, breezily 
integrated acoustics trigger 
Steely Dan white funk (Interior 
People) and their own whimsy 
circa 20155 Paper Máché Dream 
Balloon (Black Hot Soup). All 
coalesces, near-inexplicably, 
as yet another excellent album. 
Andrew Perry 


ПП 
The Goon Sax 


Mirror 1 
MATADOR. CD/DL/LP 


"We take on so 


many forms," 
rio sings Louis 
N Forster on In 
V- The Stone, a 


line that hints 
at the unsettled, unfixed 
nature of The Goon Sax's first 
album since 2018's We're Not 
Talking. With a pleasing lack 
of ingratiation, the all-singing 
trio – Riley Jones, James 
Harrison and Forster (son of 
Robert) - aren't too worried 
whether those forms neatly 
obey the laws of geometry. 
Early Orange Juice and early 
Go-Betweens are both present 
in the terse but sensitive 
indie of In The Stone or The 
Chance, Desire channels House 
Of Love vibrations (and Jones's 
Hope Sandoval slur) but 
there's a waywardness to 
Temples or Caterpillars, as if 
they're trying to catch Dave 
Fridmann production 
grandeur on a Fall budget. It's 
like watching people chuck 
matches into a box of fire- 
works: sparks everywhere, 
but - excitingly, frustratingly 
- you're never sure where 
they're going to land. 

Victoria Segal 


ШШЩЩ 
Modest Mouse 


The Golden Casket 


COLUMBIA. CD/DL/LP/MC 


Isaac Brock 
is anxious as 
anyone about 


digital world. 

2 "Peeping Toms 
at every window, dangling a 
leash for your throat," he 










Bobby Gillespie 
and Jehnny Beth 
play Burton 

and Taylor. 


observes with his trademark 
infectious melancholy on 
Never Fuck A Spider On The 
Fly. On Japanese Tree, he 
demands, "When can we 
leave?" Brock - with original 
drummer Jeremiah Green, 
producer D. Sardy and the line- 
up from Strangers to Ourselves 
(2015) layering dense sheets of 
percussion, keyboards and 
guitar — tries to understand 
where to go, and whether he's 
already there. A quarter of the 
songs mention "figuring it 
out". Yet it often sounds as 
if Brock actually has. As he 
ultimately assesses on We're 
Lucky: "These are the stars 
and these are the seas, these 
are the places that we're lucky 
just to be between." Life is a 
casket. And it's golden. Both 
are true. Brock apparently has 
figured it out. 

Chris Nelson 


ШИШИШИ 
The Scientists 


Negativity 


IN THE RED. CD/DL/LP 


It's as if they 
ላ never left. 
"Love me for 
my innocence/ 
My cognitive 
dissonance,” 
founding singer-guitarist 
Kim Salmon growls through 
gnarled riffing and barbed- 
fuzz bass as Outsider opens 
The Scientists’ first studio 
album in more than three 
decades. Salmon has reunited 
the world-beating line-up 
with guitarist Tony Thewlis 
and bassist Boris Sujdovic 
that peaked on 1986's Weird 
Love, and their unique gift 
for sounding at once 
thoroughly unhinged and 
ferociously in control is intact: 
the crippled-R&B bridge 
disrupts the drum-circle 
pulse of Make It Go Away; 
the angular swing in The 
Science Of Suave; the peals 
of steel guitar and gulping- 
Duane Eddy twang running 
through Moth-Eaten Velvet, 
a spectral-ballad surprise. 
Negativity closes with familiar 
turbulence - the Creedence- 
via-Can of Outerspace Boogie 
-and a trick ending, with extra 
rhythm-section march, that 
suggests Salmon wants to 
keep this band and party 
going for a while. 


David Fricke 





Sam Christmas, Ebru Yildiz 


Anna Webber 





David Crosby 
For Free 

BMG. CD/DL/LP 

THERE MAY be no better measure 
of the long miles David Crosby has 
travelled in excess and survival 
than his reading on this album of 
Joni Mitchell's title song. Originally on her 
1970 LP Ladies Of The Canyon, For Free has 
been in Crosby's live repertoire for nearly as 
long. A 1977 concert performance on Allies, а 
lacklustre 1983 album with Crosby, Stills and 
Nash, betrays its time: Crosby on the verge of 
his dark ages, shattering Mitchell’s crystalline 
waltz with exaggerated bravura. Here, Crosby 
delivers the revelation in that passing moment 
with a street musician — the distance between 
pure art and mere celebrity — as a pilgrim 
come home, in a warm, humbled tone with 
guest singer Sarah Jarosz and elegant, 
restrained piano played by Crosby’s son and 
producer, James Raymond. 

The eternal miracle of music — as 
profound inspiration and renewing salvation 
— has been a running theme in Crosby's 
stunning second act as a solo artist: For Free is 
his fifth studio album in a decade, a 
productivity he never attained with CSN (or 
Y). Given the dire past that follows him in the 
form of fragile health and estrangement from 
those bandmates, it is no surprise that 


David Crosby: 
he still has 
stories to tell. 


frustration and delight come on alternating 
tides. “They don’t tell you when you arrive/All 
the things you need to stay alive,” Crosby rues 
in I Think I, a mix of clouds and modal j jazz 
buoyancy that turns to relief when he hears 
“people singing in the rain/I start walking 
towards that sound again.” Secret Dancer 
opens with the cold, harsh quiet of 
incarceration — an all-too-familiar memory 
for the singer — and a grim suggestion of 
torture: “That night when they finished/The 
humans went and locked the door/And 
walked away the way humans do.” But the 
defiance comes right away (“In the stillness... 
A time to write and sing”), echoing the 
music’s seesaw of shadows and light. 

Helpful friends on the album include the 
Doobie Brothers’ Michael McDonald 
(backing vocals in River Rise) and Steely 


FILTER ALBUMS 






Dan’s Donald Fagen (who co-wrote 
Rodriguez For A Night). The Other Side Of 
Midnight, a beguiling reprise of Crosby’s 
psychedelic stargazing in CSN’s Wooden 
Ships and on the 1971 solo marvel If I Could 
Only Remember My Name, was actually written 
by Raymond — the apple has not fallen far 
from the tree. But it is Crosby's stubbornly 
enduring voice — the will to live and create in 
that gift after he came so close to throwing it 
away — that binds the wonder and mission on 
For Free. In Shot At Me, Crosby recalls a 
coffee shop exchange with a soldier just back 
from the Middle East who advises him on 
how to stay alive under fire: “You’ve got to 
find your lifeline and/Pick up your thread 
and/Tell your story before you’re dead.” 
Crosby may be on the road to sunset, but he’s 
still got work to do. 











Hiss Golden 
Messenger 


Quietly Blowing It 


MERGE. CD/DL/LP 





MC Taylor's reference for the 
12th Hiss Golden Messenger 
album was There's A Riot Goin’ 
On, penned as civil rights 
protests raged but reflecting 
those traumas obliquely. 
Couched in arrangements 
evoking the lyrical charisma of 
the E Street Band and the easy 
funk of The Band, Quietly 
Blowing It sounds little like 
Sly's bleak opus, but similarly 
engages a parallel societal 
crisis with powerful subtlety. 
The stinging Mighty Dollar 
aside (key lyric: "The poor man 
loses/The rich man wins"), 
Taylor measures the damages 





sustained and ruminates on 
paths towards redemption, 
asking "What is forgiveness? 
What is atonement?" on 
resonant opener Way Back In 
The Way Back. His answers 
might seem simple - "You've 
got to let someone in/That's all 
that will save you" he reasons, 
on the title track - but Taylor's 
balm-like burr delivers a 
blissful moment of healing. 
Stevie Chick 


ПП 
Tae Go! Team 


Get Up Sequences 
Part One 


SNOWBALL. CD/DL/LP 





As blueprinted 
ontheir 2004 
breakthrough 
Thunder, Light- 
ning, Strike, 
Brighton col- 
lective The Go! Team construct 
unfailingly upbeat sets of cut 
and paste samples, live instru- 
mentation and playground 
melodies that sit somewhere 
between The Avalanches and 
De La Soul. Accordingly, sixth 
album Get Up Sequences Part 
One is a brightly coloured 
whirligig of clattering break- 


beats, chipper flute motifs and 
hyperactive guest spots. It 
throws up its fair share of 
sunshiny treats: the freewheel- 
ing Freedom Now captures the 
spirit of '90s big-beat, while 
closer World Remember Me 
Now possesses a chorus so 
sweet it should probably come 
with an E-numbers warning. 
Consumed in one sitting, 
though, the relentlessly 
Day-Glo vibes can get a little 
sickly, with tracks such as 
Cookie Scene's Sesame Street- 
variety hip-hop in danger of 
bringing out listeners' inner 
Oscar The Grouch. 

Chris Catchpole 


Kevin Richard 
Martin 


Return To Solaris 
PHANTOM LIMB. DL/LP 





A director 
whose musical 
admirers 
include Ryuichi 
Sakamoto, 
Patti Smith, 
Squarepusher and many more, 
Andrei Tarkovsky's 1972 film 
Solaris is one of world cinema's 
megaliths. A profound and 


mystical examination of love 
and suffering set above a 
psychic ocean-world, it was 
re-scored by The Bug/King 
Midas Sound brain Kevin Mar- 
tin for last year's Videodroom 
event at Ghent's Film Fest. 
Distinct from the sacral mys- 
teries of Eduard Artemyev's 
Bach-imbued OST, the record- 
ed version is a trip into the 
whispering, vaporous 
unknown. Over 10 tracks of 
grainy electronic drift, tension 
and poignancy, psychologist 
Kris Kelvin's (spoiler alert) 
hopeless entanglement with 
an alien simulacrum of his 
dead wife - almost sultrily so 
on Together Again - is evoked 
with creeping dread. Alone in 
an unknowable universe, the 
beatless dub-nebula of Wife Or 
Mother accentuates the Freud- 
ian horror. Could also be used 
as an emetic for the slicker 
2002 George Clooney remake. 
lan Harrison 


ШИШИШИ 
Тһе Murlocs 


Bittersweet Demons 
ATO. CD/DL/LP 
ей 


op from 






Though two-fifths of The 
Murlocs ply their trade as 


part of über-prolific psych 
rock outliers King Gizzard 
And The Lizard Wizard, the 
Melbourne band operate 
within far neater lines. 

Their fifth album is sparkling 
powerpop of a classic vintage. 
Frontman Ambrose Kenny- 
Smith's theatrical flourishes 
bring to mind Sparks' Russell 
Mael, while his blasts of 
harmonica skirt the band's 
skinny tied ship round the 
earthier Canvey Island 
mudbanks of Dr. Feelgood. 
Indeed, it's difficult to listen 
to too much of Bittersweet 
Demons without imagining 
the group flouncing about 
on a re-run of Top Of The 
Pops or The Old Grey 
Whistle Test, but the crackling 
energy and embarrassment 
of melodic riches bursting 
from each song here 

makes for a persistently 
joyous listen. 


Chris Catchpole 





MOJO 81 


Shining light into 
lockdown gloom: 
Chrissie Hynde, 
tookher time. 





82 MOJO 





Stuck 
inside with 
mobile 


Chrissie Hynde 


Standing In The Doorway: 
Chrissie Hynde Sings Bob Dylan 


BMG. CD/DL/LP. 


CHRISSIE HYNDE has never been shy about singing 
other people’s songs. Over the years she’s snuck all sorts 
of covers into setlists or onto albums. Not to mention her 
previous solo album, Valve Bone Woe, which was all covers, 
from Charles Mingus to Barbra Streisand to Nick Drake. 
Now, two years later, comes another covers album, only 
this time they’ re songs by just one artist: Dylan. 

Like Valve Bone Woe — which came about after Hynde 
found a lost mixtape she’d made years earlier of favourite 
songs and decided to record them herself — Standing In 
The Doorway is something of a lucky accident. But where 
Valve... was made in the studio, with about 50 musicians, 
Standing was recorded at home, by text, with just one 
other person, Pretenders bandmate James Walbourne. 

Last year, Hynde and Walbourne were deep in the 
gloom of their se parate lockdowns when deliverance 
came in the form of the new Bob Dylan single, Murder 
Most Foul. When Elvis Costello first heard that song, it 
brought him to tears. Nick Cave found it overwhelmingly 
comforting, When Hynde heard it, “It changed 
everything. for me", she says. “Lifted me out of this 
morose mood." She called Walbourne and said, *Let's 
just do some Dylan covers," and they did, nine of them, 
though not Murder Most Foul, 

T here are songs here from Shot Of Love, Blood On The 
Tracks, Time Out Of Mind, Infidels, Bringing It All Back 
Home, Greatest Hits Vol II and The Bootleg Series Volumes 
1-3. One of them would suggest a song; Hynde would 
write the words on an iPad, sing it into her iPhone and 
send it to Walbourne, who'd put it on his laptop. He'd 
then add various instruments — piano, keyboards and 
guitar mostly, though Hynde plays the rhythm guitar 
tracks — and send it back, and so on, until the next song. 

Some of the vocals sound like first takes, which gives 
them an honesty (maybe a bit too honest on opening track 
In The Summertime). But from here on, it's just lovely. 
You're A Big Girl Now is slow and languorous, full of 
feeling. There's an almost Waitsian tenderness to 
Sweetheart Like You. Blind Willie McTell, as much torch 
song as blues, is ultra-slow, with gentle piano, harmonium, 
mandolins and electric guitar. Tomorrow Is А Long Time 
is all the more heartbreaking for its stoicism. Love Minus 
Zero is a pretty faithful folkie cover, with a dash of steel 
guitar and birdsong at the end. But the standout is the 
title track. A 7:14-minute epic, part piano ballad, part 
hymn, it starts slow and tender then ebbs and swells, with 
a hypnotic, dreamy instrumental. Tchad Blake (Black Keys, 

U2) mixed, and makes it sound almost symphonic. 


STANDING N mt DOORWAY Thinking about it, had Hynde made a covers 


CHRISSIE HYNDE Sis 


$ BOI 


album of an artist she admires as much as Dylan 


መመ 10 a studio with a band and an orchestra, it might 


| have been a much less relaxed experience. The 
а unhurried, intimate approach helps make this 
such a good listen. Beautiful. 








c 
9 
z 
Е 
а 
I 
a 


LAURA MVULA 





Laura Mvula 


ЖЖЖЖ 
Pink Noise 


ATLANTIC. CD/DL/LP 


Third album from Mercury 
Prize nominee channels SOS 
Band with synth pop. 


Born in 1986, Laura Mvula 
jokes, "I came out of the womb 
wearing shoulder pads." 
Moving away from the lush 
neo-soul and gospel-delia of 
her first two albums, on Pink 
Noise Mvula pays homage to 
the '80s, starting with a much 
more stripped-down, percus- 
sive synth sound. Tracks like 
Church Girl and Conditional 
are deliberately unrelaxed, 
using post-disco electro to 
symbolise the constriction of 
heartache and lockdown, But 
her 19805 are not just located 
in austere bass loops - in the 
dramatic, dreamy orchestration 
of Magical, the shifting keys of 
What Matters (featuring Simon 
Neil of Biffy Clyro), and the 
revelatory feel of Before The 
Dawn, there’s the glorious 
sophisti-pop of bands such as 
Blue Nile and Prefab Sprout. 
Here her vocals are less 
hemmed in by the muscular 
electro-funk she's created. 
Mvula is a gifted arranger with 
a distinctive cri de coeur, and 
this is where she soars. 

Lucy O'Brien 


Rosie Tucker 
ЖЖЖ 


Ѕискег Ѕиргете 
EPITAPH. CD/DL/LP 


Punchy third album from Los 
Angeles singer-songwriter. 


| | % "Time is a trash 
_ compactor,” 
4 | sings Rosie 
| Tucker, and if 
A | | that's true, 
а Sucker Supreme 


is at the crunching-down-on- 
the '90s stage in its cycle, a 
record that follows Phoebe 
Bridgers and Soccer Mommy in 
their repurposing of post- 
grunge indie. Habanero and 
the audaciously named 
Barbara Ann nod back to 
Juliana Hatfield; Dog has an 
air of Kim Deal insouciance 
and if you were told Different 
Animals had been released 

on DC indie Simple Machines 
around 1993, it wouldn't 

be unbelievable. (Pitching 
forward a decade, there's also 
a cover of Jeffrey Lewis's 
Arrow). The songs are ener- 
gised by Tucker's funny, 
smart and often poignant 
dissections of change, family 
history, anger and desire, 
amphibious creatures as likely 
to spark a lyric as agribusiness. 


It might spend a lot of time 
looking back, but Sucker 
Supreme feels as if its eye is very 
much on the moment, too. 
Victoria Segal 


odrigo 
marante 


ЖЖЖЖ 


Drama 
POLYVINYL. CD/DL/LP 


Brazilian stadium-filler 
returns with a tale of love 
and deception. 


Filled with 
meta-textual 
observations, 
Amarante's 
second solo 
album is a 
delight of many layers, a story 
with a beginning, middle and 
end.He meets a dance partner 
and falls in love, but soon finds 
their fancy footwork disguises 
deceit. At times, the singer 
seems intimately involved, at 
others to be commentating 
from a distance, or perhaps 
these events take place on a 
stage - is he subject, actor, 
creator or critic? Lyrically, then, 
Dramais deeply involving, but 
fans of Amarante's earlier 
careers in rock bands and 
samba big bands will find 
much to delight them here: 
bossa nova (authentically 
Brazilian, yet imported whole- 
sale from the US), tango, John 
Barry-like themes, Muscle 
Shoals-style funk. The author 
claims to be trying to run away 
from Brazil's musical riches 
here, yet the result adds to 
them, a sublime blend of 
melancholy and desire. 

David Hutcheon 


Paul McCartney 
ЖЖЖЖ 
McCartney Ill 
Imagined 

UNIVERSAL. CD/DL/LP 


More than a remix album: 
Macca offers up his self-titled 
third to reinterpretation. 


If it took decades before 1970's 
McCartney and 1980's McCart- 
ney Il were fully appreciated — 
the former pre-echoing the 
handmade lo-fi of the '90s; the 
latter yielding hipster dance- 
floor cuts in the '00s - then the 
process has been accelerated 
after last year's McCartney Ill. 
The remit here is an open one: 
some artists, such as Beck and 
Khruangbin with their art-funk 
overhauls of Find My Way and 
Pretty Boys respectively, build 
traditional, if inventive remixes 
around Macca's vocals. Others 
go further and basically cover 
the songs - Phoebe Bridgers' 
atmospheric take on Seize The 
Day or Dominic Fike's avant-pop 
approach to The Kiss Of Venus, 
both underline the melodic 
strengths of the originals. Best, 
perhaps, is Anderson.Paak's 
warping of the pastoral folk of 
When Winter Comes into warm, 
Stevie Wonder-ish synthy soul. 
Tom Doyle 








Lump 
ЖЖЖЖ 


Animal 


CHRYSALIS/PARTISAN. CD/DL/LP 


a life of its own. 





Victoria Segal 


Curious meeting of minds' second musical hybrid. 


NEWLY DISCOVERED creatures tend to lurk 
at the unassuming end of the miracle-of-life 
spectrum: barnacles, moths, lungfish. Animal, 
the striking second collaboration between Laura 
Marling and Tunng's Mike Lindsay — is a more 
dramatic fusion of musical DNA, a synthetic 
cryptid apparently hothoused under some 
sinister green light. There are modular Moogs 
and clarinet, post-punk chill and horror-film 
creep; Phantom Limb smears Lambchop and 
Young Marble Giants on the same slide; Paradise 
sounds like a girl-group made up of John 
Carpenters. It's an evolution that particularly 
suits Marling, giving her words and voice a lab- 
coated coolness, opaque yet urgent lyrics — *We 
have some work (о do,” for example — delivered 
with high seriousness. There's a slight hollowness 
in its bones, a coldness under its skin, and 

the experimental splices are 
sometimes a bit too obvious, but 
Animal admirably slips standard 
musical taxonomy to take on 





FILTER ALBUM 





Yola 
ЖЖЖЖ 
Stand For Myself 


EASY EYE SOUND. CD/DL/LP 


Bristol singer widens her 
musical horizons with 
eclectic second album. 


On the three albums she made 
fronting the obscure British 
country-soul group Phantom 
Limb back in the 2000s, it was 
glaringly obvious that Yolanda 
Quartey had a special talent 


deserving of wider recognition. 


Reinventing herself as Yola 
after the band split, in 2019 
she grabbed four Grammy 
nominations for her country- 
tinged debut LP, the Dan 
Auerbach-helmed Walk 
Through Fire. Auerbach stays 
on board for Stand By Myself 
but allows his protégée 
more creative freedom; 
there's still a strong Nashville 
influence but there is a pop- 
rock sensibility at play too, 
which gives the music 

a widescreen sweep. Yola's 
caressing vocals are sublime 
throughout on a dozen 
well-crafted songs that 
range from chugging 
country rock (Diamond 
Studded Shoes) to dreamy 
‘70s pop-soul (Dancing Away 
In Tears) and anthemic, pining 


Dramatic fusion of 
musical DNA: Lump's 
Laura Marling and 
Mike Lindsay. 



























ballads (Like A Photograph). 
An enthralling step on her 
musical voyage. 

Charles Waring 


Joan 
Armatrading 
ЖЖЖЖ 


Consequences 

BMG. CD/DL/LP 

Pioneering singer- 
songwriter's 20th long- 
player in nearly 50 years. 


Few have trod 
a more singular 
path than Joan 
Armatrading. 
A revered 
stateswoman 
today, she was a voice in the 
wilderness in the '70s, whose 
trailblazing for serious female 
singer-songwriters still passes 
almost unacknowledged. 
Deep of voice, emotion and 
intent, she was always more 
grown up than her peers. 
Bending to neither fashion 

nor time, she's still honing 

her craft and almost anything 
here could fit on almost any 
Armatrading LP. Lyrically she's 
still falling in love ("Do you 
know, you're amazing?" she 
coos on highlight Already 
There), but the slow burn of 
Consequences reveals more 
nuance with each sitting. 
Natural Rhythm is all finger- 
clicking energy (think Me 
Myself |. but aimed at some- 
one else), while Glorious 
Madness is powered by Kate 
Bush-style piano, and passive- 
aggressive title notwithstand- 
ing, To Anyone Who Will Listen is 
vintage Armatrading insecurity. 
John Aizlewood 


MOJO 83 


Time to reflect: 
Lukas Nelson & 
Promise Of The 
Real mull it over. 





anachronistic fare, an impres- 

sion deepened by a deadpan 

cover of Lady Gaga's Poker Face. 
David Sheppard 


Sufjan Stevens 
ЖЖЖ 


Convocations 
ASTHMATIC KITTY. CD/D 


Sufjan and grief reconnect 
on 150-minute, five-disc 
electronic requiem. 


Ж Carrie And 

| Lowell, in 2017, 
was Stevens' 
intimate song- 
| cycle tribute to 
КАУ Я his late mother. 
His father died in 2020, inspir- 
ing Convocations, which takes 
a very different form: 49 elec- 
tronic instrumentals split into 
five sections - Meditations, 
Lamentations, Revelations, 
Celebrations and Incantations. 
Despite Stevens' committed 
Christian beliefs, Convocations 
is anything but churchy or new 
age-y, siding more with the raw, 
rhythmic and even disruptive 
energies of systems music 
pioneers like Morton Subotnick, 









"auc i sy 


Lukas Nelson 
& Promise Of 






stuck at home. A shock, 
though, for someone 


. . 1 
who's spent his life on | vocal most resembles 


the road, touring with 


The Real 
ЖЖЖЖ 
А Few Stars Apart 


FANTASY. CD/DI 

Seventh album from Willie's 
acclaimed sixth-born. 

A DECADE and a bit after their 
self-titled debut, Nelson found 
himself — like almost everyone — 


his dad and his band, 
which has also 
moonlighted as John 


Fogerty's and Neil Young's road 
bands. Lockdown gave him time to 
reflect, he said, and this album — 
recorded live to 8-track tape at 
Nashville’s famed RCA Studio A — is 
reflective, lyrically and musically. A 


lot of slow/slow-ish songs. Opener 





But there's swagger too: first single 
Perennial Bloom, which starts out 
folky before the band rocks in; and 
upbeat shuffle Hand Me A Light, 
with its bar-room piano, backporch 
bass and classic country lyrics. 


Willie — and lovely 
sway-along closer Smile 
are late-night beauties, 
almost Stardust-esque. 


Sylvie Simmons 








Colourseund 
ЖЖЖ 


Coloursgund |! 
INGROOVES. CD/D 


The Cult's Billy Duffy and 
The Alarm's Mike Peters, 
back together again. 

n Forged "out‏ ا 
"A. 3 of wedlock",‏ 
as Mike Peters‏ 

describes it, 
Colourseund's 
raucous 1999 
debut was made after he'd left 
The Alarm and while Billy 
Duffy was on a four-year hiatus 
from The Cult. Only now, after 
inevitable further sorties with 
the acts that made them, have 
the pair dusted down their 
histrionics for Colourseund II, 
an unreconstructed hard-rock 
record that's often gutsier than 
a butcher's slop bucket. 
Though the objects and 
affiliations of Peters' zeal 
remain fairly obtuse, the head- 
long flight of Paradise (Free 
People) stirs the blood, and on 
Lightning Strike, too, Peters' 
voice sounds like it could 
crunch rocks. Duffy, meanwhile 
— still many folks’ idea of a 
guitar god in Platonic form 

- knows all the little tricks and 
licks that excite, and when to 
go Neanderthal (see Actions). 
Though the odd battle against 
cliché is lost, Colourseund II 
wins the war. 






James McNair 


84 MOJO 


John Murry 
ЖЖЖЖ 

The Stars Are 
God's Bullet Holes 


SUBMARINE CAT. CD. 


Third solo album from 
troubled American émigré. 


Mississippi- 


1 born John 
Murry's debut, 
The Graceless 
Age, dealt with 
p his near-fatal 


drug addiction, and its 2017 
follow-up, A Short History Of 
Decay, followed his subsequent 
broken marriage. His third, 
however, begins to turn 
towards the light as Murry’s 
life has become more stable, 
even if ‘stable’ seems a relative 
term. Resident in Ireland for 
five years, Murry has found 
acceptance of himself, if not 
peace, and while disturbance 
and violence still pepper his 
songs there's also a bleak 
humour. Oscar Wilde (Came 
Here To Make Fun Of You) 
examines the 1995 Oklahoma 
City bombing, the title track 
opens with the line, "Of course 
l'd die for you", and even a 
pitch-black cover of Duran 
Duran's Ordinary World is still 
about Simon Le Bon's shop- 
ping angst. Murry's scorched- 
earth life may not have become 
a bed of roses, but at last some 
daisies are pushing through. 
Andy Fyfe 


Stephen Fretwell 
ЖЖЖЖ 
Busy Guy 
SPEEDY WUNDERGROUND. CD/DL/LP 


First LP in 14 years by 'lost" 
Noughties singer-songwriter. 


One-time 

drinking buddy 

of Elbow's Guy 

Garvey, in the 

mid-2000s 

Stephen 
Fretwell broke ground that 
subsequent singer-songwriters 
parlayed into far greater 
success, despite his song Run 
playing over Gavin & Stacey's 
end credits. Fretwell's relative 
lack of sales after Magpie 
(2004) and Man On The Roof 
(2007) was followed by years 
of disillusionment taken up 
with washing pots at Wether- 
spoons, re-doing his A-levels, 
childcare and a failed marriage. 
For the ironically titled Busy 
Guy, Fretwell and his guitar 
were recorded in just two 
hours, with minimal backing 
added later, capturing his bad 
life choices, regrets and hopes 
at their most immediate. From 
the tiniest relationship detail 
to our greater place in the 
cosmos, the singer asks life's 
big and small questions with 
grace and grandeur. 
Busy Guy gives Fretwell a 
magnificent second chance, 
апа а richly deserved one. 

Andy Fyfe 


The Real 
Tuesday Weld 
ЖЖЖ 

Blood 

ANTIQUE BEAT. DL/LF 


First of three swansong 
albums from louche London 
troubadour and friends. 


The plaything 

of singer- 

producer 

Stephen 

Coates, The 

Real Tuesday 
Weld have been delivering 
their self-styled ‘cabaret noir’ 
- marrying old jazz 78s to 
modern electronics and wry, 
boho-demimonde lyrics - for 
over two decades. Now Coates 
is calling time on the project 
with a trilogy of valedictory LPs. 
Pitched in the middle of an 
outré Venn diagram of Serge 
Gainsbourg, Momus and Barry 
Adamson, the first of the trio, 
Blood deals in cinematic arch- 
ness, with Coates and three 
female guest vocalists sharing 
its semi-spoken narratives of 
after-hours nefariousness and 
elegant disaffection. At its best 
-the film noir-meets-Weimar 
oompah of What Happens 
Next?; Skeletons In Waiting's 
gypsy jazz existentialism; the 
pulsing, male suitor-scorning 
Promises Promises delivered 
by Sephine Llo - this is know- 
ing, eloquent if musically 


Pauline Oliveros and Terry 
Riley. Lamentation Ill could be 
the Radiophonic Workshop; 
Revelation 115 choral samples 
suggest a simultaneously 
ecstatic and unsettling after- 
world, a potential equivalent 
of heaven and hell; Revelation 
|['5 spectral calm is the excep- 
tion not the rule. Grief takes 
many forms, but Convocations 
- conceived in lockdown and 
isolation - represents anguish 
and discombobulation, without 
having yet reached acceptance. 
Martin Aston 


The Wallflowers 


ЖЖЖЖ 
Exit Wounds 


NEW WEST. CD/DL/LP 


Jakob Dylan and co's first LP 
in almost a decade. 





= Its title a meta- 
8. phorforthe 
previous rela- 
tionship bag- 
gage we port 
around, Exit 
Wounds is a rootsy, intricately 
arranged, classy-sounding 
album with ‘come hither’ song 
titles (Wrong End Of The Spear; 
The Dive Bar In My Heart). The 
lineage is perhaps more Trave- 
ling Wilburys than Dad this 
time out, the George Harrison- 
esque motifs on Roots And 
Wings and easy, Tom Petty-ish 
swing of | Hear The Ocean 
(When I Wanna Hear Trains) a 
delight. With the Jackson, 
Alabama-raised Shelby Lynne 
a smouldering Southern soul 
presence across four songs 
and Jakob Dylan, now 51, 
phrasing these literate back- 
ward glances with new gravi- 
tas, Exit Wounds is a welcome 
return for the man last seen 
duetting with Beck, Cat Power 
etal on 2018's Laurel Canyon 
doc, Echo In The Canyon. 

It's his best original work by 
some yards. 

James McNair 


Allyse Gafkjen 


Jaimie Branch 
ЖЖЖЖ 
Ну Or Die Live 


INTERNATIONAL ANTHEM. CD/DL/LP 


Trumpeter/vocalist takes her 
inspirational fight to Zurich. 


It's hard to 
overestimate 
the power of 
recent albums 
on Chicago's 

FELL International 
Anthem label. This new set by 
Branch operates in a similar 
world to those by Angel Bat 
Dawid and Damon Locks: one 
where jazz, politics, and a 
multitude of other influences 
collide in a way that's some- 
times raging, sometimes 
ecstatic, and often a potent 
mixture of both. A 19-tracker 
recorded in January 2020, 
Branch's latest draws on the 
repertoire of 2017's Fly Or Die 
and 2019's Fly Or Die Il and 
adds dazzling new dimensions. 
The quartet line-up is odd - 
trumpet, cello, double bass, 
percussion - but it proves 
spectacularly flexible, as 
Branch leads them through 
hollering blues, temple 
gamelan spaces and most 
points in between. At times 
she can resemble Miles at his 
most abstracted and delicate, 
at others a punk gleefully 
seizing the possibilities of free 
jazz. It makes for an exhilarating 
ride: try Prayer For Amerikkka 
for most of that range, and 
righteous energy, encapsulated 
in 14 minutes. 





John Mulvey 


Marc Ribot's 
Ceramic Dog 
ЖЖЖЖ 

Норе 

NORTHERN SPY. CD/DL/LP. 
Celebrated Tom Waits foil 


explores political and 
cultural burnout. 


Described by 
Ribot as “more 
depressing 
than Mahler's 
Kindertoten- 
lieder”, opener 
B-Flat Ontology laments and 
lambasts this world’s ever- 
accumulating mass of aspirant 
rock stars, poets, post-modern 
philosophers and performance 
artists (“this one fucked his 
mother on YouTube"). An 
eloquent, blackly comic, seem- 


Museum Of Love: 
Pat Mahoneyand * 
Dennis McNany 

go deep. 


ingly Beat prose-influenced 
curmudgeonliness is key on 
Hope, but it also deals in elastic 
Blaxploitation funk (Bertha 
The Cool), distressed beats, sax 
freak-outs (They Met In The 
Middle), and the kind of knee- 
jerk non-conformism that can 
make people dismissive of 
almost everything (The Activist). 
Masterfully played, cool and 
deliciously spiky in tone, it 
sometimes reminds this writer 
of mid-'90s alternative act Soul 
Coughing, but perhaps only 
Ribot, bassist Shahzad Ismaily 
and drummer Ches Smith 
would dare hatch a 10-minute 
version of Donovan's Wear 
Your Love Like Heaven drained 
of all whimsy. 

James McNair 














Museum Of Love 
ЖЖЖЖ 
Life Of Mammals 


SKINT. DL/LP 


LCD Soundsystem offshoot 
up the drama over infectious 
no-wave grooves, 


Given the fact that James 
Murphy re-formed LCD 
Soundsystem in 2016, it’s 
perhaps unsurprising that it’s 
taken their drummer Pat 
Mahoney, also the vocalist 
here, seven years to follow up 
the eponymous debut album 
he made in cahoots with DFA 
artist Jee Day (real name: 
Dennis McNany). Murphy 
mixed Life Of Mammals, 
resulting in added punch to 
the persistent beats, along 
with unmistakable echoes of 
his day-band. Mahoney’s 
melodically edgy voice 
meanwhile sits somewhere 
between the swooping drama 
of Scott Walker and the 
yearning soul of Orange Juice- 
era Edwyn Collins. Artful 
arrangements take their time 
here: analogue electronic 
pulsing backdrops two 
saxophones duelling to 
disorientating effect in 

Your Nails Have Grown, 

while Hotel At Home sounds 
like something that might 





have rumbled through New 
York's Danceteria circa 1982. 
Tom Doyle 


Portico Quartet 
ЖЖЖЖ 


Terrain 
GONDWANA. CD/DL/LP 


Londoners’ re-route, 
drawing on ambience and 
minimalism. 


An act continu- 
ously refining 
their craft, the 
three slowly 
unfolding 
pieces of 
Portico Quartet's sixth album 
find them conspicuously 
shifting away from their jazz 
roots into a more abstract 
conversational zone. Each 
movement pivoted around 
a short, repeated motif, that 
vanishes and reappears. | takes 
Duncan Bellamy's hang-drum 
pattern and bathes it in waves 
of warm, shimmering synthet- 
ics as Jack Wyllie's treated, 
sometimes bird-like sax circles 
mellifluously above. Piano is at 
the heart of the niftier, au 
naturel Il, low cello drones 
underlying Wyllie's inquisitive 
impressionistic figures, return- 
ing later thicker and heavier, 
before hope springs eternal as 
he arcs and dives over 111" rich 
percussive tapestry. Retaining 
the spooky cinematics that 
are Portico's stock-in-trade, 
Terrain's meld of Midori Takada 
and Sun Ra teases and tricks its 
way to mantric embrace. 

Andy Cowan 


Rob Frye 
ЖЖЖЖ 


Exoplanet 
ASTRAL SPIRITS. DL/LP 


Jazz/ambient fusionist from 
Chicago's away with the birds. 


To a select 
cabal of kos- 
mische fans, 
Rob Frye is the 
woodwind 
player in 
Chicago's Bitchin Bajas, often 
adding a little jazz friction to 
their Terry Riley-adjacent 
synthscapes. In another life, 
however, Frye is a field biolo- 
gist, transcribing birdsong 
and, eventually, making music 
out of it. You can hear a couple 
such tunes on this terrific solo 
LP, as XC175020 and XC222182 
reveal an affinity between 
Amazonian wrens and, it seems, 
Sun Ra (check the original 
tweets at www.xeno-canto. 
org). With the help of various 
bandmates and auspicious 
jazzers such as Ben Lamar Gay, 
Frye builds on the possibilities 
of Bajas' 2017 Sun Ra cover, 
Angels And Demons At Play, 
seesawing elegantly 
between synth ritual, 
minimalist fugue state, 
percussion workout and 
spiritual jazz. Lightship Sgr 
A Star, in particular, shows 
how well the fusion plays out: 
swinging, otherworldly, at 
once kinetic and beatific. 
John Mulvey 





Maridalen 
ЖЖЖЖ 


Maridalen 
JAZZLAND. CD/DL/LP 


Norwegian trio's minimalist, beat- 





less debut; an album with few precedents. 


RECORDED IN a picturesque wooden church near the old stone 
ruins of St Margaretakirken, Maridalen's debut speaks powerfully 
of its scenic surroundings. Field recordings of rushing water 
and birdsong detail the opening Koral, its spare harmony 

given texture by Anders Hefre's intimately breathy baritone 
sax. The similarly sedate Blir Det Regn | Dag, Tru? allows Jonas 
Kilmork Vemoy's trumpet to lead us on a yearning journey 
through their surrounds, while Inga and Vals Fra Bjølsen - both 
jaunty waltzes by Maridalen's stately standards - are held down 
by Andreas Redland Haga's sasquatch double bass stomp. At 
once modern and sepia-toned, Maridalen is an immersive low- 
end dreamworld that distils distant Nordic jazz variants (Nils 
Petter Molveer, Bernt Rosengren, Lars Gullin) into a singular 
vision. It acts like a powerful sedative, washing blues away. 


ALSO 


LEAS 





Dahveed Behroozi 
ЖЖЖЖ 


Echos 
SUNNYSIDE, CD/DL 


There's a palpable 
tension to 
Behroozi's dark 
and brooding 
first studio outing, 
as serpentine bassist Thomas 
Morgan and resourceful 
drummer Billy Mintz interpret 
the Californian's Steinway 
sketches on the fly: epitomised 
by two wildly contrasting 

takes on Chimes, TDB's spare 
melancholy or Royal Star's slowly 
enveloping lament. A melting 
amalgam of Keith Jarrett, Vijay 
lyer and Maurizio Pollini, where 
abstractions change with the wind. 


John Carroll Kirby 
ЖЖЖЖ 


Septet 
STONES THROW. CD/DL/LP 


Herbie Hancock's 
Head Hunters is an 
obvious touchstone 
for John Carroll 
Kirby's second LP, an 
expansive, summery jazz-funk 
crossover that lives and dies on 
its monster grooves. While the 
Solange and Frank Ocean 
keyboardist's loose, winding 
synth solos rarely falter, cosmic 
epic Nucleo and the skittering, 
Morricone-edged Sensing Not 
Seeing show real breadth of 
ambition, adding the pizzazz its 
predecessor My Garden lacked. 






















Amaro Freitas 
ЖЖЖЖ 


Sankofa 
FAROUT. CD/LP 


Recorded over 

ы two years, with 

ы. few breaks, the 
rhapsodic Sankofa 
fully nails Brazilian 
Freitas's elaborate compositional 
style. The Monkish hard-edged 
vamps and stuttering groove 

of Ayeye are superseded by 
pulsing standouts Cazumbá 

and Malakoff, where the motorik 
repetition of Freitas's off-the- 
scale looping patterns threaten 
to spin into abstraction over the 
driving carnival rhythms of 
long-time compadres Jean 

Elton and Hugo Medeiros. 


Emma-Jean 
Thackray 

ЖЖЖЖ 

Yellow. 

MOVEMENTT. CD/DL/LP. 

A Yorkshire jazz 
prodigy who learnt 
trumpet in a brass 
band, but also sings, 
makes beats and 
DJs, Thackray crams a lot into 
the 14 tracks of her cerebral yet 
deeply groovy debut. Be it the 
spiritually questing Mercury, 
funk-stomper Venus or the title 
track's happy-clappy love-in, 
Yellow scatterguns through 
P-Funk, Alice Coltrane, gospel, 
Sun-Ra, electric-era Miles Davis 
and '70s jazz-fusion with glee. AC 











MOJO 85 





Cedric Burnside: 
building ona 

_ solid blues 
foundation. 





ቁ መመ E rising 


eration 


| an ecol 





Cedric E Burnside 


Ж 


| Be Trying 


SINGLE LOCK. CD/DL/DL 


Readers hooked on last month’s Black 
Keys-compiled MOJO CD Hill Country 
Blues will be pleased to hear the 
Nashville-based duo aren't the only 
people keeping alive this specific strain 
of music from North Mississippi. Cedric 
Burnside debuted as his grandfather R.L. 
Burnside's live drummer aged just 13, 
soon pounding the skins on R.L.’s wild, 
mid-'90s international tours opening for 
post-hardcore revivalists Jon Spencer 
Blues Explosion. Now 42, Cedric is the 
foremost, twice Grammy-nominated 
ambassador for a style of blues whose 
trance-inducing, metre-flouting 
otherness opposes contemporary pop's 
computerised grid systems. 

Following collaborative and Cedric 
Burnside Project outings, his stand-alone 
debut, 2018's Benton County Relic, 
introduced his own lean, sinewy take on 
the Hill Country idiom. Now, оп I Be 
Trying, it's even more tightly coiled, its 
motivational and cautionary messages 
immediate and often terrifying, its roots 
as ancient as the rolling landscape around 
his native Holly Springs, Mississippi. 

Here, Burnside gathers 
further scions of the region's 
greater musical dynasties: 
most of the recording took 
place at Memphis’ Royal 
Studios, birthplace of Hi 
Records classics by Al Green 





86 MOJO 





and Ann Peebles, with Lawrence ‘Boo’ 
Mitchell, son of Hi production genius 
Willie and present-day custodian of 
Royal. On the record’s two most 
explosive tracks, Luther Dickinson, son 
of Memphis legend Jim, adds electrifying 
slide guitar, his bottleneck intensifying 
Step In’s cry for salvation. 

Burnside busts out intricate picking 
throughout, and robust beats on six of the 
13 tracks, but largely avoids instrumental 
showboating, in favour of a stark, funky 
economy where every twang and thump 
serves the song's forward motion. Only 
those blasts of slide, the odd lick of cello, 
bass and backing singing (from his 
youngest daughter, Portrika), intrude. 

On first listen, this reductive clarity, 
and a fierce lyrical directness, disarms. 
Cedric's craftsmanship is revealed 
cumulatively, and addictively, thereafter. 

The two bluesiest cuts, Hands Off 
That Girl and the scary Bird Without A 
Feather, where his Hendrix-y tenor drops 
to a John Lee Hooker moan, are covers 
of Junior Kimbrough and Grandpa R.L. 
respectively. Otherwise, Cedric's song- 
writing is best described as extrapolating 
from the blues, building on their 
foundation to his own ends. While often 
espousing their downtrodden worldview 
(see acoustic-plucking opener The World 
Can Be So Cold), his is a 21st century 
perspective, on the title track preaching 
self-betterment, and in romantic tunes 
like You Really Love Me and Love You 
Forever, revealing a vulnerability that 
would've repulsed a 1930s practitioner 
like Skip James. 

But to contemporary 
sensibilities, Burnside 
presents as a genuine 
one-off — a uniquely rooted 
artist of rare precision 
and power. 











Danny Elfman 


Ж 


Big Mess 


ANTI-/EPITAPH. CD/DL 





Prolific Grammy and Е 
gr 


first solo album 


Though he's 
scored for 
movie direc- 
tors from Tim 
Burton to Ang 
Lee, veteran 
Angelino Danny Elfman is 
perhaps best known as creator 
of The Simpsons' theme tune. 
Big Mess certainly has ele- 
ments of anarchic satire too, its 
metal guitars, busy, fortissimo 
strings and industrial textures 
underpinning a politicised and 
darkly comic fury as he rages 
against Trump's legacy 
(Choose Your Side) and 
compromised ardour (Love In 
The Time Of Covid). There's 

a pleasing, Bowie-ish swagger 
to Elfman's vocals and a steam- 
punk thrust to Big Mess's 
heavy, junkyard percussion, 
the album's caustic, chaotic 
arrangements utterly fearless 
throughout 18 rather exhaust- 
ing songs. The absurdist 
speed-metal of Kick Me - "Kick 
me! I'm a celebrity" - is the 
two-minute standout, while 
Insects, a reworking of a song 
by Elfman's avant-garde '80s 
outfit Oingo Boingo, packs 
astonishing punk punch 
belying his 68 years. 

James McNair 


ወየ 
in 37 years. 





иии 
Keuning 





A Mild Case Of 

Everything 

PRETTY FAITHFUL. CD/DL/LP 

І founder and 
uitarist’s second solo 

long-player. 








Frustrated by 
the relentless 
touring and by 
his songs 
being rejected, 
Dave Keuning 
took a break from The Killers in 
2017.He returned this year 
with a solo career up and 
running. 2019's low-key 
Prismism was a careful start, 
but he has expanded his 
palette on this album which 
predominantly comprises 
songs spurned by The Killers, 
although for the most part it's 
hard to glean exactly why. 
There are more guitars than 
were used on Prismism and if 
Don't Poke The Bear, Bad 
Instincts and especially World's 
On Fire deploy The Killers’ 
driving swirl, the earthiness 
those guitars bring to What Do 
Ya Want From Me and the 
lolloping Hangman On The 
Ocean separate him from the 
mothership. Yet, while he has 
created his own identity and 
You Can Stay is almost 
a madrigal, he does struggle 
to craft the massive anthems 
which define the band he 
founded. Perhaps that’s what 
he intended all along. 
John Aizlewood 


Kings Of 
Convenience 


2595 55፡2 
АЛАЯ 


Peace Or Love 
EMI. CD/DL/LP 






So 
back with 


Norwegian 
rst LP in 12 years. 
Released in the 


ገ UK on the 
| same day 85 
| The Strokes" 
12 first EP The 
= Modern Age, 


Kings Of Convenience's 2001 
debut album Quiet Is The New 
Loud stood firm amid the 
oncoming NYC rush-hour, 
Bergen's own Simon And 
Garfunkel starting their own 
unassuming acoustic move- 
ment. The slyly titled Peace Or 
Love is Erlend Oye and Eirik 
Glambek Bee's first album 
since 2009's Declaration Of 
Dependence, but their gift for 
hand-turned melancholy 
hasn't blunted with time: 
Catholic Country and Rumours 
are locket-sized short stories, 
while the wistfulness of Fever 
and Angel is measured to the 
last millimetre. There are 
moments when you can 
almost hear the gurgle of a 
coffee machine in the back- 
ground, but Peace Or Love is 
sophisticated without being 
easy, a quiet storm all of its own. 
Victoria Segal 





Squirrel Flower 


EA 0 ' 


X У У 


Planet (i) 

FULL TIME HOBBY. CD/DL/LP 

Ella O'Connor Williams’ 
second album, named for an 
imaginary new world. 


Keen to shake things up after 
home recording during Covid- 
19 isolation, former gender, 
women's and sexuality studies 
student Ella Williams swapped 
Arlington, Massachusetts, for 
Bristol, Avon, to record Planet (i) 
with P.J. Harvey engineer and 
Gruff Rhys producer Ali Chant. 
Like its 2020 predecessor, / Was 
Born Swimming, Planet (i) (a 
fictitious world people settle on 
after fleeing Earth, apparently) 
is an intense, slightly avant 
churn from an artist who has 
called herself Squirrel Flower 
since infancy. Her upfront, 
glacial vocals nod to Lana Del 
Rey, but her backdrops are 
scuzzier, be it in the Belly-esque 
guitar squall of Hurt A Fly or 
the moment in Night when 
crunching drums take an indie 
strum to another plane entirely. 
Portishead's Adrian Utley adds 
further layers to Williams" 
complexity, and if she lacks 
overt hooks, she's an expert on 
atmosphere and texture. 

John Aizlewood 2 


raham Rowe 





U-Roy 
ЖЖЖЖ 
Solid Gold U-Roy 


TROJAN JAMAICA. CD/DL/LP 


The pioneer's full-throttle 
posthumous swansong. 


Crowned 'The Originator' in 
the early 1970s for introducing 
afluid toasting style that 
transformed Jamaican popular 
music, U-Roy maintained stel- 
lar status in the decades to 
follow, until longstanding 
health issues took their toll last 
February. His final album pro- 
ject, Solid Gold U-Roy empha- 
sises his lasting legacy by 
allowing him to revisit nuggets 
from his back catalogue, duet- 
ting with a range of notable 
guests. Among the many high 
points, an upbeat take of Man 
Next Door with Santigold and 
a playful Tom Drunk with 
Tarrus Riley bridge old and 
new, and the thunderous 
remake of Every Knee Shall 
Bow is ап epic pairing with Big 
Youth (and Mick Jones some- 
where in the mix), comple- 
mented by a spacey Scientist 
dub. U-Roy remains on form 
throughout, delivering every- 
thing in his relaxed yet confi- 
dent style, all testament to his 


enduring talent. 
David Katz. 


The Flatlanders 
ЖЖЖЖ 


Treasure Of Love 
RACK'EM/THIRTY TIGERS. CD/DL/LP 
Butch Hancock, Jimmie Dale 
Gilmore and Joe Ely's outlaw 
country supergroup returns. 


It's been 12 
years since The 
Flatlanders’ 


- not counting 
2012's Odessa 
Tapes whose songs were 
recorded in 1972, the year the 
band began. According to Joe 
Ely, whenever they'd make a 
start on a follow-up, their solo 





BLVK H3RO 
bigga’s up UB40 
Baggariddim. 


careers would get in the way 
until the pandemic forced 
them off the road. The dis- 
tressed, well-thumbed album 
sleeve, picturing three horse- 
men silhouetted against a Sun 
Records logo sunset, makes 
Treasure look even more vin- 
tage than Odessa. Sounds a bit 
that way too. Of the 15 new 
recordings, very few are new 
originals. Most are new 
versions of classic country or 
Americana songs they've 
covered live over the years. 
The musicianship's great, Lloyd 
Maines' production's gorgeous 
and there's a slew of highlights, 
ranging from an upbeat rocka- 
billy take on The Mississippi 
Sheiks' Sittin' On Top Of The 
World to the stoic Townes Van 
Zandt cover Snowin' On Raton. 
Sylvie Simmons 





Piroshka 
ЖЖЖЖ 
Love Огірѕ & Gathers 


BELLA UNION. CD/DL/LP 


Indie supergroup's reflective 
yet spirited second album. 


The title Love Drips & Gathers is 
taken from a Dylan Thomas 
poem pondering the natural 
energies inherent in human- 
kind. Fittingly and doubtless 
intentionally, the members of 
Piroshka have an abundance of 
past energies to draw from. 
Miki Berenyi was in Lush, Mick 
Conroy in Modern English, 

K.J. McKillop in Moose and 
Justin Welch in Elastica. Their 
second album together is more 
cohesive and less Britpop than 
2018's Brickbat. More trenchant 
too. The nine tracks focus on 
experiences and relationships. 
V.O. is Berenyi's shimmering 
tribute to 4AD designer 
Vaughan Oliver, who died in 
2019. Scratching At The Lid is 

a shoegazing/powerpop 
stormer with contrastingly 
biting lyrics from McKillop 
contemplating the loss of his 
father. The sense of coming to 
terms with pasts is heard in the 
music too: Echo Loco suggests 








latter-day Lush shorn of the 
Britpop moves. In all, a bracing 
experience. 

Kieron Tyler 


Adam Prescott 
Meets Dougie 
Conscious 
ЖЖЖ 

The Dub Session 


BACKATIVE. LP 


Atmospheric technodub 
collaboration. 


Reggae Roast 
co-founder 
Adam Prescott 
has been pro- 
ducing music 
since 2009 and 
when lockdown put the brakes 
on sound system gigs, he 
teamed up with veteran pro- 
ducer Dougie Conscious for a 
series of limited edition dub- 
plates. That led to this engag- 
ing album, alternating fresh 
studio creations with new dub 
mixes of some of Prescott's 
better singles, produced with 
the likes of Earl Sixteen and 
Michael Prophet. Everything 
has been rendered with atten- 
tion to detail and the mix of 
computer technology and live 
organic instruments works 
well, songs such as Meditate 
On Dub and The Message Dub 
giving space for the music to 
breathe, unlike the sledge- 
hammer-to-nut effect that has 
ruined many UK steppers' 
releases. Pressed on heavy- 
weight vinyl that allows for 
added audio clarity, this is a 
sleeper release that takes time 
to absorb, sounding better 
after a few close listens. 

David Katz 





UB40 

ЖЖЖ 

Bigga Baggariddim 
SHOESTRING. CD/DL 


Intergenerational duets with 
guests from Tippa Irie to 
BLVK H3RO and Leno Banton. 


This is the 
Robin/Duncan 
Campbell 
line-up of 
UB40, which 
sounds slightly 
tougher than Ali Campbell's 
version but still retains the 
group's pop core. The record's 
title references Baggariddim, 
UB40's 1985 album of collabo- 
rations which yielded the 
Number 1 | Got You Babe with 
Chrissie Hynde. Here they 
return to that format, taking 
the rhythms and backing 
tracks from their 2019 For The 
Many and reconfiguring them 
as duets. Pablo Rider and 
Slinger, who both appeared on 
the original album, bring grit 
and substance with the rootsy 
Did You See That? and the 
deejay rhyme of Mi Life Action, 
respectively. Winston Francis 
and Inner Circle provide a 
gentler lovers touch, the for- 
mer with the horn-drenched 
My Best Friend's Girl, the latter 
with the bouncy Rebel Love. 
Lois Wilson 





Various 
ЖЖЖЖ 
Changi — Тһе Sound 


Of Guantánamo 
PETALUMA. CD 


The sound of ungentrified old Cuba, 


CHANG 


м Т CUMNTÁNAMO 





direct from the fields and village squares. 


IT'S LIKE finding 50 rough, discarded demos for the Buena Vista 
Social Club: recorded in situ in the rural parts of the eastern 
province of Cuba, where back-breaking labour is interrupted by 
impromptu parties that last all weekend, this 3-CD box set, 
curated by journalist Gianluca Tramontana, is arguably the first 
in-depth survey of the folk music that gave birth to a revolution. 
You can feel the heat, the dust and the rum, but the real magic 
comes from the tres (the Cuban guitar, strung in three pairs, 
with a distinctive metallic twang) and percussion, the sort of 
lightning that needs to be captured as it happens, where it 
happens. The uninhibited performances are a joy throughout, 
while the cross-pollination with African styles that would, in 
their turn, be influenced by the Caribbean gives you something 


upon which to ruminate. 


ALSO RELEASED 





Angrusori 
ЖЖЖ 

Live At Tou 
HUDSON. CD/DL/LP. 


Recorded live in 
Stavangar, this 
pushes the gypsy 
jazz of the Slovakian 
Roma into the 
avant-garde, with musical 
accompaniment by Norwegian 
experimentalists Kitchen 
Orchestra. The repertoire is 
recognisably Roma, as are most 
of the vocals, but the backing 
veers from deeply sympathetic 
to outright confrontational. 
Naturally, it ends in a wild 
hoedown that makes you 
wish you'd been there. 


Dal:um 
ЖЖЖЖ 
Similar & Different 
TAKTIL. CD/DL 
The latest culture 
exports from 
J South Korea, 
F ә 7. Hwang Hyeyoung 
(geomungo) and 
Ha Suyean (gayageum) - both 
instruments are 5ft wooden 
zithers - have been playing 
traditional music since child- 
hood, but here unite to pursue 
an uncharted journey into space. 
If you like Sunday morning 
albums with a lot of silence then 
virtuoso flourishes on gorgeous 
melodies (solo Toumani Diabaté, 
say), this is for you. 


Angélique Kidjo 
ЖЖЖ 


Mother Nature 
VERVE. CD/DL/LP 


Having paid tribute 
^il to Celia Cruz and 
Talking Heads in her 
previous albums, 
Angélique Kidjo 
has now moved into modernist 
mode by teaming up during 
lockdown with a younger 
generation of Africans, the 
biggest names in Afrobeats 
and contemporary African pop, 
including Burna Boy, Sampa 
The Great and Yemi Alade. 
It's still recognisably Kidjo, 
yet feels like a genuine 
attempt to reconnect with her 
contemporary homeland. 


Okuté 
ЖЖЖЖ 
Okuté 
CHULO. CD/DL/LP 


Debut for a rumba 
collective mining 
a deep seam of 
Cuban traditions, 
plus the melodies 
and rhythms that arrived in the 
dock during Havana's heyday 
as a global trading nation. 
The thump of skin on drum 
delivers the power, but it's 
their own idiosyncrasies 
that make it special - the 
distorted tres, bowed 
double bass or stab of organ. 
Heavy santería vibes. DH 





MOJO 87 





FILTER 





Alasdair Roberts 
Og Vólvur 


The: Old Fabled River 


DRAG CITY. CD/DL/LP 





Originally convened to accom- 
pany Roberts in concert, Vól- 
vuris the brainchild of Oslo- 
based Hans Kjorstad, whose 
dextrous fiddle weaves around 
woodwinds, bowed guitar, 
percussion and electronics to 
fashion courtly, occasionally 
wraithlike Scandi-Celtic cham- 
ber-folk arrangements. The 
ensemble's name references 
an apocalyptic Old Norse text 
- Völuspá, The Prophecy Of 
The Seeresses - but rather 
than dramatic intimations of 
Ragnarók, The Old Fabled River 
deals only in wistful enchant- 
ment, with four, typically bard- 
ic, otherworldly Roberts origi- 
nals augmented by traditional 
ballads and a brace of Norwe- 
gian hymnals, achingly emot- 
ed by saxophonist Marthe Lea. 
Opener Hymn Of Welcome 
sets the tone, a delicately-spun 
instrumental preamble usher- 
ing in Roberts' reedy rumina- 
tion on mortality and new 
beginnings, his vertiginous 
vocal melody wreathed in a 
fjord mist of clarinets and 





violins, while the traditional 

revenant ballad Sweet 

William's Ghost, like much 

else here, is a paradigm of 

restrained, spectral poignancy. 
David Sheppard 


ПП 
Chris Cain 


Raisin’ Cain 


ALLIGATOR. CD/DL 





A sturdy pillar of West Coast 
blues society, a dues-paid 
guitarist descended from B. B. 
and Albert King, Chris Cain has 
been making admirable 
records since 1987 but some- 
how failing to win a lot of 
attention. Signing with Alliga- 
tor may change all that. Well- 
crafted original songs like 
Hush Money, Too Many 
Problems, | Believe | Got Off 
Cheap and | Don't Know Exactly 
What's Wrong With My Baby 
deploy familiar blues subject- 
matter - depression, distrac- 
tion, the avarice and infidelity 
of lovers - but Cain's ways 

of handling it are always dis- 
tinctive, the idiosyncratic lyrics 
intricately woven with the 
sharply coloured threads of 
the guitar lines, the matured- 
in-oak voice perfectly 
balanced against the surging 








Hiatus Kaiyote 


Modd Valiant 


BRAINFEEDER. CD/DL/LP 





funk of the arrangements. 
In Raisin’ Cain, this long- 
serving bluesman is defini- 
tively raising his game. 

Tony Russell 


ПП 
Seafoam Green 


i. ሰ 


Martin's Garden 
MELLOWTONE. CD/DL/LP 






n of gospel- 


As proven by 
their 2016 
debut Topanga 
Ё AT TTE Mansion, 
22227 country blues 

and Southern 
soul are Seafoam Green's 
wheelhouse. In spite of the raw 
deep groove they make, the 
duo of Dave O'Grady and 
Muireann McDermott Long 
hail not from some Missouri 
backwater but Dublin, and are 
now based in Liverpool. With 
Tedeschi Trucks Band's Tyler 
Greenwell sitting in on the 
drummer's stool and also 
occupying the producer's 
chair, they're more than the 
real deal as they slide and 
boogie their way through 
Martin's Garden. If you need 
more confirmation of their 
‘chops’, that debut album 
was produced by The Black 
Crowes' Rich Robinson. What 
sets Seafoam Green apart 
from mere bar band, however, 
is the easy blending of those 
Irish roots into their swing, 
no more obviously than on 
a scorching version of 
Brendan Behan's The Auld 
Triangle, pitching O'Grady's 
nicotine growl against 
McDermott Long's holler on 
a near faultless album. 

Andy Fyfe 








Birds Of Maya 


Valdez | 


DRAG CITY. DL/LP 





For those of us who believe 
Iggy never bettered Fun House, 
the occasional appearance of a 
band like Birds Of Maya is 
manna from heaven. It evi- 
dently takes time to sound as 
brutally gonzoid as the trio do 
on their fourth album (and first 
made in an actual studio), 
recorded in 2014 but only just 
surfacing now. In the interim, 
guitarist Mike Polizze has 
concentrated more on his 
Purling Hiss and solo projects, 
and a marginally sweeter, 
more accessible take on this 
kind of overdriven garage 
rock. There's no such respite 
here, though, thanks to mag- 
nificently unsanitised 
ramalams in the shape of 
Please Come In and BFIOU, the 
latter beginning very roughly 
like an МС5 take on Silver 
Machine. Stick around, too, for 
the full frenzied 11 minutes of 
Recessinater, psychedelia 
re-enacted with the sort of 
hardcore speed and cacoph- 
onic thuggery that's been thin 
on the ground since the hey- 
day of Comets On Fire. 

John Mulvey 


Hypnotic Brass 
Ensemble 

This ls A 
Mindfulness Drill 


JAGJAGUWAR. CD/DL/LP/MC 





Richard Youngs' 










# Richard Youngs’ 
doomed, deso- 
late fifth solo 
LP isalong 
way from the 
‘ ШВ busking New 
York and Chicago streets 
pounded by Hypnotic Brass 
Ensemble, sons of Sun Ra 
trumpeter and astral jazz pio- 
neer Phil Cohran. Their sympa- 
thetic take on the Glaswegian 
avant-gardist's highly personal 
2000 LP is a swooning, swelling 
marvel that puts guest singers 
front and centre. While Moses 
Sumney's dazzling falsetto 
doesn't need to work as hard 
as Youngs’ to hit the highs, his 
solitude is palpable in the 
ascending motifs of Soon It 
Will Be Fire, a trick only half 
realised on baroque-pop bard 
Perfume Genius's contribution. 
Sharon Van Etten's plaintive 
soul-baring on snail's-pace 
closer The Graze Of Days steals 
it. More sigh than song, it raises 
goosebumps, like the original. 
Andy Cowan 


The Mountain 
Goats 


Dark la Here 


MERGE. CD/DL/LP 





nd beauteous 
helast ye 


Further 


songs 










A third collection from prolific 
frontman John Darnielle since 
Covid reared its head, this was 
completed at Muscle Shoals by 
late March 2020. It's another 
strong set - polished, jauntily 
sinister, with a running theme 
of calamity. Folky, upbeat 
Parisian Enclave features "rats 
returning home to our nests" 
with "spores in our lungs". The 
Destruction Of The Kola Super- 
deep Borehole Tower, the LP's 
passionate rock-out moment, 


HIATUS KAIYOTE’S third LP had 
a tricky genesis — work ceased 
abruptly in 2018 as singer Nai Palm 
underwent a life-saving cancer 
surgery. Her subsequent rude health 
spools through the squiggling synths 
and lyrical obfuscations of Chivalry 
Is Not Dead, the sweeping pianos 
and dappled jazz bass of Get Sun 
(with horns and strings from 
Brazilian arranger Arthur Verocai), 
songs that underline their talent for 
conjuring mesmerising grooves 
where funk, soul, disco 
and prog combine. Palm 
is the star, though, her 
byzantine harmonies the 
crucial glue as pitches 
shift and time signatures 


skip, before they strip 


considers Russia's effort to drill 
through the Earth's crust, its 
location the "entrance to hell". 
Dappled, hazy Mobile is a spin 
on the guilt in Melville's Moby- 
Dick, made honeyed by elec- 
tric piano from Spooner Old- 
ham and Will McFarlane's 
chiming Telecaster. Some 
tracks could be Scott Walker 
haikus, their melodies lulling, 
their words apprehensive. 
Brainy, jazzy, prescient. 

Glyn Brown 





Hiatus Kaiyote: 
vibrant and 
uninhibited. 






and uninhibited, dotted with rule- 
bending twists, Mood Valiant is the 
sound of summer. 


| their craft right back 
on woozy standouts 
Red Room and Stone 


Or Lavender. Vibrant Andy Cowan 


\ 





Tre Koch 











Жж 
-VASANT 


88 MOJO 


Laura Lewis, Mitsuhide Ishigamori 


Fuzzy Lights 
ЖЖЖЖ 
Burials 
MEADOWS. CD/DL/LP 
Cambridge Krautfolk 
collective's first album in 
eight years. 
After 2013's 
Rule Of Twelfths 
ሦ anda stint 
backing Damo 
Suzuki, Fuzzy 
Lights seemed 
to have abandoned their quest 
to merge hardcore Can-style 
gallops with surprisingly 
delicate folk. In fact, the 
quintet led by married couple 
Rachel and Xavier Watkins 
were scheming an almighty 
leap forwards. When the bleak, 
10 minutes of Songbird rattles 
into a fierce, climactic conclud- 
ing maelstrom and segues into 
the gentle beauty of The 
Graveyard Song (concerning 
the passing of time from a yew 
tree's point of view), it's the 
ultimate Fuzzy Lights moment. 
There's real darkness here: 
Under The Waves and Sirens 
(“Still | see them buried/Faces 
pale beneath the ground") are 
as death-fixated as lan Curtis, 
while The Maiden's Call deals 
with Rachel's miscarriage. In the 
end, the musical battle 
between the fuzzy and the light 
makes Fuzzy Lights special. 
John Aizlewood 
ШИШИШИ 
Mike Cooley, 
Patterson Hood 
& Jason Isbell 
ЖЖЖ 
Live At The Shoals 
Theatre 
THIRTY TIGERS. LP 


Four albums, three past and 
present Drive-By Truckers, 
one show. 


By 2014, the 
scars from 
Jason Isbell's 
unamicable 
2007 departure 
from Drive-By 
Truckers had healed. When 
their mutual friend, actor Terry 
Pace, needed help paying 
medical bills after a stroke, 
Isbell and DBT founders Hood 
and Cooley played this acous- 
tic, in-the-round, one-off 
benefit in Florence, Alabama. 
The stripped-down format is 





Snapped Ankles: 
the righteous 
rabble rousers. 


a mixed blessing. There’s no 
room for the Truckers’ country 
soul aspect and the layering 
which makes them much more 
than a bar band. Alternatively, 
without musical clutter, the 
material has new room to 
breathe, and when the trio 
harmonise sparingly on Hea- 
thens and guitars gently clash 
on Eyes Like Glue, they soar. 
Better still, story songs such as 
Carl Perkins’ Cadillac (Sun's 
Sam Phillips ‘gave’ him one 
after Blue Suede Shoes but 
deducted it from Perkins’ 
royalties) have new clarity and 
fresh poignancy. 

John Aizlewood 


Various 
ЖЖЖЖ 

May The Circle 
Remain Unbroken: 
A Tribute To Roky 


Erickson 
LIGHT IN THE ATTIC. CD/DL/LP 


Late Texan garage-psych 
godhead covered by friends, 
fans, spiritual successors. 


Tribute albums 

are often scup- 

pered by the 

reverence 

contributors 

feel towards 
the source material - espe- 
cially when the subject is as 
revered as Roky Erickson. 
Longtime friend Billy F Gib- 
bons's (I've Got) Levitation is 
faithful right down to the 
ululating jug sounds, adding 
little beyond Gibbons's pleas- 
ingly gruff vocals. The more 
radical reimaginings fare 
better, like Alison Mosshart 
and Charlie Sexton redressing 
Starry Eyes as a reverb- 
drenched ‘50s ballad, or The 
Black Angels recasting Don't 
Fall Down as a lo-fi Velvets 
lullaby, or Chelsea Wolfe 
delivering If You Have Ghosts 
as yearning, widescreen piano- 
ballad. The covers favour 
Erickson’s more introspective 
solo works over his garage-y 
nuggets, though Ty Segall's 
needles-in-the-red Night Of 
The Vampire impressively 
out-weirds the original, 
preserving its pin-eyed sense 
of panic. Meanwhile, Lucinda 
Williams clearly relishes her 
every berserk snarl on You're 
Gonna Miss Me - and her 
glee is infectious. 

Stevie Chick 





Snapped Ankles 
ЖЖЖЖ 
Forest Of Your 


Problems 
THE LEAF LABEL. CD/DL/LP 


Eccentric, rabble-rousing 
groovers with a serious 
message. 


==] Snapped 

=} Ankles are East 
London’s post- 
punk shamans 





ЕСІ groove, who 
clad themselves in verdant 
ghillie suits that suggest 
ancient woodland spirits on- 
stage. As with 2019's Stunning 
Luxury, the deleterious effects 
of capitalism remain a target 
on their third album. But their 
scope has expanded, resulting 
in this riotous takedown of 
eco-hypocrisy and corporate 
greenwashing to the accompa- 
niment of rhythms so wildly 
exuberant they could rearrange 
loins. Psithurhythm is an 
explosion in a tom-tom factory 
with a bass line to match. At 
times, like the military march- 
meets-glam techno of Rhythm 
Is Our Business, frontman 
Austin's barked utterances 
have a MES-ian quality. On 
other occasions - the tumultu- 
ous Teutonic throb of Xylopho- 
bia - the punky, abrasive disco 
that Andrew Weatherall 
cooked up with The Aspho- 
dells is a reference point. 

Stephen Worthy 


Williamson 
Brothers 
ЖЖЖ 


Williamson Brothers 
DIAL BACK SOUND. CD/DL/LP 


Punk'd-up political Southern 
rock from Alabama. 


А$ {һе fresh- 
faced rhythm 
section from 
Birmingham, 
^ AL firebrands 
ኖም A Lee Bains ше 
The Glory Fires, Adam (bass) 
and Blake (drums) Williamson 
have had a hand in plenty of 
broadsides against pervasive 
attitudes in their native 
Yellowhammer state. On this 
breakaway debut, the siblings 
take The Glory Fire's Replace- 
ments-y brink-of-catastrophe 
ramalama to precarious straits. 
Their lurching melodic skills 
instantly register on powerpop 
opener Take Back Summer, 
while Pressure's On marries 
blue-collar worry with clang- 
ing riffs and falling-down-the- 
stairs rhythm to pulse-racing 
effect. The gentler | Hate It Here 
avoids polemical earnestness 
with a country-tinged litany of 
Birmingham-centric beefs 
delivered in an amusingly dozy 
stoner drawl. Produced by 
Drive-By Truckers' bassist Matt 
Patton, Williamson Brothers 
feels steeped in Southern 
alt-lore, charged by the rage 
of Southern disenfranchise- 
ment, but with humour and 
kicks that sweetens the 
listening experience. 
Andrew Perry 








UNDERGROUND 


Satomimagae 
ЖЖЖЖ 


Hanazono 
RVNG INTL. CD/DL/LP 


A garden where we feel secure, 


flowering in urban Tokyo. 





o 


PART OF Tokyo's long-standing acid-folk scene, Satomimagae 
has been writing music since 2003, but only recording for the 
past decade. Although her sound betrays certain debts to 
Japanese 'new music' of the early '70s, releases such as 2014's 
Koko and 2017's Kemri were less about nostalgia than ghosts, the 
guileless 'beautiful young generation' sound filtered through 
age, history, sadness and decay. Hanazano, which translates as 
"flower garden", feels somewhat different. The ghosts are still 
there, but Satomimagae's landscapes now feel more secure, 
empathetic, and hypnotic, conjuring up sounds akin to the 
spectral northwestern folk sound of Liz Harris's Grouper or Jesy 
Fortino's Tiny Vipers. A first listen might be all about surfaces and 
textures but repeated plays reveal hidden depths. As a clincher, a 
portion of the proceeds from this album go to Sesame Workshop, 
the non-profit, educational organisation behind Sesame Street. 





ELEASE 








ALSO 
United Bible 
Studies 
ЖЖЖЖ 


Divining Movements/ 
West Kennet Ascension 


BANDCAMP/PARIAH CHILD. 
CD/DL/MC 


The conclusion of 
E? the trilogy that 
) began with the еріс 





E in 2019. Divining 
Movements finds the protean 
British/Irish folk collective 
creating vast meditative swells 
of saxophone drones and 
wordless vocals as if Jon Hassell's 
Fourth World were moving 
beyond the veil, while West 
Kennet Association is desolate 
pastoralist folk hymnals that 
could summon the dead. 
Powerful stuff. 


Ayako Ogawa 
*** 

Sanatorium 

OFF/BANDCAMP. DL 

A voice and piano 
improviser, Ogawa 
lost her husband 

© last year and here 
performs а series of 
“cheerful-sad” works at home 
with percussionist and guitarist: 
vocal patterns that move 
between grief and play into 
hushed poems about becoming 
a bird, songs of chaos and 
delight about moving forward, 
whatever the circumstance. 





Rip Hayman 
ЖЖЖЖ 
Waves: Real And 
Imagined 
RECITAL. DL/LP 
Two long-form 
minimalist works 
from this 70-year- 
old sailor/artist/ 
editor/musician. 
The first uses woodwind to 
recreate the soundscapes of 
a sea journey (foghorn cries, 
the dizzying flights of birds, 
air blowing through the sails). 
For the second, recorded out 
on the mighty Pacific Ocean, 
the ship becomes the 
instrument, emulating synth 
burbles, amp feedback and 
ghostly choirs. 


Adrian Corker 
ЖЖЖ 
9 Ѕрасеѕ 


SN VARIATIONS. DL. 
Adrian Corker's 
previous release, Tin 
Star: Liverpool, was 
· one of MOJO's 
soundtracks of 
2020. This digital-only mini-LP 
find him working remotely with 
Chris Watson, Takuma Watanabe, 
Tatsuhisa Yamamoto, the Ligeti 
Quartet and more, utilising the 
drones, groans and ghost 
broadcasts of a Russian electro 
magnetic receiver as if they were 
a separate collaborative 
musician. АМ 











MOJO 89 


аы журө | 





LBUMS EX 





Amenra 





De Doorn 
RELAPSE. CD/DL/LP/MC 


Belgium's hardcore crusaders' 
seventh, with more moments 
of delicate beauty than before. 
Colin H Van Eeckhout's spoken 
word confidences are offset by 
vocals from Oathbreaker's Caro 
Tanghe, guitar/drum onslaughts 
and blood-curdling screams 
that peak on Ogentroost. AC 


“см 


Gemma 
Cullingford 


Let Me Speak 

OUTRÉ. CD/DL/LP 

Ode To Billy Joe retold in 
deadpan Sprechgesang set to 
a subatomic pulse is just one 
highlight on this solo debut 
from half of Norwich duo Sink 
Ya Teeth. See also: Wide Boys' 
space pop, skewering far-right 
hate with sampled flutes. JB 





Peace Flag Sebastian Plano 
Ensemble 

Save Me Not 
Noteland MERCURY KX. CD/DL/LP 


WE ARE BUSY BODIES. DL/LP 


Keith Jarrett and Talk Talk 
vapours suffuse Saskatchewan 
jazz collective's pastoral 
debut. Be it cascading Human 
Pyramid or pensive 
Presentism, bright trumpet 
and wilted sax punctuate Jon 
Neher's piano improvs. AC 


Argentinian composer doubles 
down on enigmatic yearning 
melancholy, similar to Nils 
Frahm or Ólafur Arnalds. His 
intimate minimalist layering of 
notes on three-part Souls Suite 
and the somnambulant 

sprawl of Never Learned is 
movingly poignant. AC 


Podcasts 

*. . Things should start to get interesting 
right about now." Journalist John Harris 
quotes from Mississippi, the Love And 
Theft track, to kick-off the latest episode 
of Is It Rolling Bob? Celebrating 
Dylan's 80th alongside regular hosts 
Kerry Shale and Lucas Hare, Harris is 
great: insightful and funny — especially 
recalling his close encounter with Dylan 
at the O2 (spoiler: Charlie Sexton loves 
The Fast Show). Online music journalism 
archive Rock's Backpages looks back 
over 100 episodes of their podcast: a 
conversational tour of their library with 
guests like writer Caroline Boucher and 
her excellent Zappa and Beefheart 
anecdotes. Podcasts are ideally suited to 
such niche exploration as For Your Ears 
Only, a series on film and TV music 
hosted by actress Jodhi May and featuring 
such composers as Ludwig Göransson 
(Black Panther; Tenet) and Paul Epworth 
(Skyfall). MOJO's Jim Irvin hosts You're 
Not On The List, excavating his guest's 
personal buried treasure, including our 
own Andrew Male (delightful on Nada 
Surf's unfashionably flannel-shirted Let 
Go) and Pete Paphides' fondness for 
Prefab Sprout's final LP, Crimson/Red. 
Each episode comes accompanied by 

a Spotify playlist. 





90 MOJO 





Mabe Fratti 


Será Que Ahora 
Podremos 
Entendernos? 

UNHEARD OF HOPE. CD/DL/LP 
Guatemalan cellist Fratti's 
second is awash with complex 
harmonies and cathartic 
mantras. Collaborations with 
Claire Rousay and Mexican 
experimentalists Tajak ladle on 
otherworldly atmospherics. AC 


LAWRENCE ROTHMAN 





Lawrence 
Rothman 


Good Morning, 
America 

KRO. CD/DL 

LA producer Rothman set up 
mobile studios - in church; an 
empty shopping mall - with 
guests including Lucinda 
Williams (majestic on Decent 
Man) for this brooding, state- 
of-the-nation set. JB 


PLAY 


Maple Glider 


To Enjoy Is The 

Only Thing 

PARTISAN. CD/DL/LP 

Melbourne's Tori Zietsch's 
Weyes Blood-y vocal opulence 
elevates her debut from a "big 
pool of self-reflection" post- 
break-up. Bleak songs, written 
in a Brighton winter, are 
transformed in the honeyed 
light of Australian summer. JB 





Chris Schlarb & 
Chad Taylor 


Time No Changes 
ASTRAL SPIRITS/BIG EGO. DL/LP 
Mellow, elegantly improvised 
set of Sandy Bull-style folk-jazz 
from Psychic Temple frontman 
Schlarb and hyper-creative 
drummer Taylor. Schlarb's crisp 
production makes every note 
and beat sound at once 
nonchalant and precise. JM 


Bob Dylan: still 
rolling after all 
these years. 















Lucy Kruger 


Transit Tapes 
UNIQUE. DL/LP 


Subtitled For Women Who Move 
Furniture Around, Berlin-based 
South African's slowly unfurling 
songs may hold psycho-kinetic 
power to shift heavy objects. 
Highlight: A Stranger’s Chest 
(darkly romantic triste, not 
sturdy trunk) with its Codeine- 
like rumbling guitar cadence. JB 


ON 
ACCOUNT 
OF 
EXILE 
ш 
Trevor Sensor 





On Account Of Exile 


HIGH BLACK DESERT. CD/DL/LP 


Only 27 but with a voice aged 
in sour mash, Trevor Sensor 
deftly sketches a fictional 
American drifter on songs of 
personal dislocation and social 
anomie; unlucky men, 
grievous angels and - the 
Bat-signal for folk singer- 
songwriters - Bob Dylan. JB 


ፕ - ІХІТУІ 
5900 ሚሚ) 
፲ x Í 
Oy Ly 06576 








Chris Sharkey 


Presets 
NOT APPLICABLE. CD/DL 


A member of Acoustic Ladyland 
and TrioVD, here Sharkey's electric 
guitar and hardware improvs 
veer from industrial noise (The 
Sharecropper's Daughter) to 
deep hymnals (Evangelist) and 
blurry hypnagogia (Torpid 
Metacarpals), with glimpses of 
Steve Reich and Fennesz. AC 


Hassan Wargui 


Tiddulka 

HIVE MIND. DL/LP 

The Master Musicians Of 
Joujouka recast as a bluegrass 
band is a stretch, but Wargui 
is a Moroccan mountains 
musician who, with his band, 
revitalises local Berber culture 
on a banjo. A beguiling, 
hypnotic and immensely 
beautiful find. JM 


Alamy 


Academy Events present 


OXFORD 
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PLAYING THE CLASSIC ALBUM IN IT’S ENTIRETY 
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Іп association with DF CONCERTS and NUR 


academyevents presents 


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DECEMBER 2020 


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TICKETMASTEH.CO.UK & ALL USUAL AGENTS 





FILTER REISSUES 


Getty (2) 


grudging bridalwear, glowering over a bouquet. At 


Map to the treasure 


Extensive eight-album box set charts the mysteries of the influential 
singer-songwriter. By Victoria Segal. 


Laura Nyro 
kkk IKK 


American Dreamer 


MADFISH/SNAPPER MUSIC. LP 


N MR BLUE (Song Of Communications), 

the opening track of her 1978 album Nested, 

Laura Nyro reports a phone conversation 
with a lover. “He said, ‘Sweetheart, look, you know 
what happens when we get together/I mean I’ve 
heard of liberation, but sweetheart — you’re in outer 
space.” Too free, too untethered, too much — it was 
the kind of accusation that followed Nyro for most 
of her life. “If anybody could be miscast, it’s me,” 
she said in a 1970 interview with Bessie Smith 
biographer Chris Albertson. “That’s been my 
problem, because if you put my music in the wrong 
place, it becomes a freak.” 

Finding the right place for her music — and for 

Nyro herself — has never been a simple matter. 
A press advert for her 1966 debut single, Wedding 
Bell Blues, showed the Bronx-born 19-year-old in 


1967’s Monterey Pop Festival, she wore black to 
regale the West Coast flower children with the 
astringent Poverty Train, its occult undertow — “I just saw the 
devil and he’s smiling at me” — way ahead of the counterculture’s 
sympathy for such things. (Film footage later suggested cries of 
“Boo!” were actually “Beautiful!”) 

While tracks from her debut, 1967’s More Than A New Discovery, 
were grist to the mainstream hit machine 





— Barbra Streisand called her 1971 album 
Stoney End after one of its three Nyro 
covers; Frank Sinatra, in hip satin jacket, 
sang Sweet Blindness with The 5th 
Dimension on TV — attaching the writer to 
her songs made them a harder sell. As a 
result, it’s tempting to write about Nyro as 
if you're providing character references for 


“That ‘freakish- 
ness’ that Nyro 
detected — the 
difference 
between hot- 
house exotic 
and potential 
triffid — 
becomes clear. 





BACH STORY: 
SHE'S A 
RAINBOW 

* According to Columbia 
label head Clive Davis, 
laura Nyro was famous 
for asking session 
musicians and sound 
men for “blue” or 
“orange” sounds. You 
Don't Love Me When 

| Cry, from New York 
Tendaberry, was, she 
said, “warm pale blue 
with a few white caps on 
it". But it wasn't just 
colours that drove her 
synaesthesia: while 
recording 19765 Smile, 
she was once asked by 
co-producer/arranger 
Charlie Calello what she 
wanted a song to sound 
like. “Charlie,” she said 
after a moment's 
thought, “I wantit to be 
like my chair.” 














92 MOJO 


her, pushing for that big-time showbusiness 
job she never quite landed. Bob Dylan loved 
her chords. Stephen Sondheim was a fan. 
“Laura Nyro, you can lump me in with,” 
Joni Mitchell told MOJO in 2003. Since her 
death from ovarian cancer in 1997, aged 49, 
there have been regular flashes of Nyro 
worship — not least her 2012 induction into 
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by a teary 
Bette Midler. Nyro remains cultish 
ae with Mitchell, or Carole King 
(who influenced her profoundly and who 
she influenced right back), but for an artist 
often described as “unsung”, she frequently 
comes through surprisingly loud. 

American Dreamer collects her first seven 
albums — including the remarkable run of 
Eli And The Thirteenth Confession, 1969's New 
York Tendaberry, and 1970's Christmas And The 
Beads Of Sweat — with an additional disc of 
demos, live tracks and single versions. In the 
process, it underlines why Nyro was never 


really destined for the same blue- chip recognition 
as Mitchell or King. It wasn't her voice: as Charlie 
Calello, co-producer of Eli And The Thirteenth 
Confession and 1976's Smile, comments, *when you 
take into consideration some of the people who 
were her contemporaries, like Dylan, come on." 

Instead, that “freakishness” that Nyro detected 
— the slight but vital different between hothouse 
exotic and potential triffid — is what becomes clear. 
Even when Nyro is working most tightly along 
soulful Brill Building pop lines on More Than А New 
Discovery, there's an instability to her songs, a sense 
that the churc hy longing of He's A Runner or I 
Never Meant To Hurt You's radical empathy could 
spill over, burst banks. By the time of New York 
Tendaberry, it's a flood. It applies to the era's cosmic 
joy, too: both Nyro's Stoned Soul Picnic and Joni 
Mitchell's Chelsea Morning are soaked in colour- 
wheeling sensory bliss, yet Nyro, making up her own 
words (“сап you surry?"), seems to have taken all the 
supporting walls out of her song, risking collapse. 

When she tries for another '60s staple, the 
protest song, it's equally unstable. Save The 
Country, from New York Tendaberry (another made- 
up word), was inspired by the assassinations of John 
F and Robert Kennedy, a | gospel call for cleansing. 
Yet it changes pace wildly, less a song for marching 
than a rapturous hurtle towards salvation. Often, it feels as if Nyro 
is being chased by something. The devil, or Lucifer, appears 
repeatedly; Eli's Coming, popularised by Three Dog Night, might 
be about a faithless man, but there's an almost supernatural threat 
in the repeated name, the warning piano. On her fourth album's 
Beads Of Sweat, this thumb-pric king quality is heightened again: 
“Something’s coming I know/To devastate my soul.” With 
Blackpatch (“Lipstick on her reefer/Waiting for a match”) and 
Been On A Train’s drug-related death, Sinatra and Streisand are 
long gone, but Lou Reed might have understood. 

After her fourth album, however, that intensity partially lifts. 
Produced by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, Gonna Take A Miracle is 
a collaboration with her friends Labelle, a fabulous tribute to her pop 
roots. It includes a brilliantly raw cover of The Shirelles’ I Met Him 
On A Sunday; a carnal You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me (matched 
by the demo of her own Emmie) and a version of The Charts’ 
Désiree that predicts the erotic charge of Amy Winehouse’s 
Valerie. For once, it feels as if she’s rooted somewhere. 

From here, however, her career was formed of retreats and 
returns. She married and divorced before 1975’s Smile, a record 
that begins with one spoken word — “strange” — before launching 
into a mellow cover of The Moments’ Sexy Mama. There’s a new 
smoothness, a recognition this is now a world with Carly Simon 
in it, yet you could hardly call Money or I Am The Blues subdued. 
Nested, meanwhile, released two months before her son's birth 
in 1978, comes with softer, moon-and-New-York-City piano, 
yet Child In A Universe and American Dreamer hit upon 
war and peace, fight and flight, Nyro's voice still pushing 
through the mellow haze. 

It is a lot, this eight-album demand to live and listen at her 
pitch. Yet as Nyro, mocked for her liberation in Mr Blue, retorts, 
“Гуе been studying the radar in the sky/I can almost run, fly/ 
Listen like the animals do... yes, Pm ready for you." The 
mainstream might not have been ready for her, but American 
Dreamer emphasises once more exactly where her place should be: 
out in the world, front and centre, not a freak but a true star. 


” 








Philip Tabane 
And His 
Malombo 
Jazzman 

ЖЖЖЖ 

The Indigenous 
Afro-Jazz Sounds Of... 


WE ARE BUSY BODIES. LP 


Restlessly experimental 1969 
debut by guitarist hailed as 
South Africa's Sun Ra. 


Five years after he took first 
prize at South Africa's Cold 
Castle Jazz Festival, Philip 
Tabane captured his spirited 
brand of Malombo jazz in 
one-take studio sessions. 

A sparse but spirited two-way 
with percussionist and thumb 
pianist Gabriel 'Sonnyboy' 
Thobejane, the breathy chants, 
lonesome pennywhistle and 
resonant cow-hide drums of 
Babedi and Dithabeng build 
on traditional Ndebele and 
Sepedi music's healing proper- 
ties, and ache with reflective 
stillness. A wild card guitarist, 
Tabane's Gibson semi-acoustic 
unexpectedly flits from deli- 
cate melodies to fleet mercu- 
rial runs and darkly menacing 
chords amid Inhliziyo's two- 
note pulse and Kathloganao's 
almost Celtic interplay, 
numbers that sound like they 


FILTER REISSUES 


were plucked from the ether. 
Restorative and dynamic, 
Tabane's sparky yet soothing 
touch is a salve to the soul. 
Andy Cowan 


Alice Cooper 
oc 


Three Temptations 
From Alice 
RETROWORLD. CD 


Alice's Trash, Hey Stoopid and 
The Last Temptation albums 
corralled on a 2-CD set. 


Released in 
1989, Poison 
| washell-bent 
| on becoming 
E; Cooper's first 
Р Тор 10 single 
since 1977's You And Me, 
hence the recruitment of hair- 
metal-affiliated writer Des- 
mond Child to help commer- 
Cialise Alice, much as he'd 
helped commercialise Aeros- 
mith circa Dude (Looks Like A 
Lady). With its cod-horror 
verses and telegraphed cho- 
rus, Trash's Poison reached 
Number 2 in the UK, but the 
heavy friend guest-list and 
co-writer credits had perhaps 
lost focus by 1991's Hey 
Stoopid, wherein Feed My 
Frankenstein featured Steve 
Vai, Elvira: Mistress Of The Dark 
and a writing credit for Zodiac 
Mindwarp. The jewel here is 
1994's The Last Temptation, 
with its conceptual nod to 
1975's Welcome To My Night- 
mare. On TLT, Alice regained 
his Detroit edge and made 
another great single, the dis- 
gruntled, disenfranchised yoof 
anthem Lost In America. 
James McNair 


ALICE COOTER 
там Tow stove Row Mutt 








Various 
ЖЖЖЖ 


Сагу Crowley's 
Lost 80s Vol. 2 


DEMON. CD/DL/LP 


More cult classics and rare grooves 


from the radio DJ's '80s. 


ANOTHER demonstration of just 
how generative the '80s music scene 
could be: these 65 choice tracks 
over four discs span soulful jazz pop, 
post-punk funk, Brit funk, reggae 
and electro. Disc one draws a line 
from The Style Council's Mick's Up 
to Nick Heyward's Cafe Canada, 
both mood-stirring, keyboard-led 


instrumentals. Discs two 
and three take in 
innovative covers: 
Bananarama doing the 
Sex Pistols; the Kane 
Gang doing The Staple 
Singers; The Staples 
doing Talking Heads (an 
astonishing Life During 
Wartime). Disc four is 
different again, aimed at 


the dancefloor with 12-inch mixes 
of Clint Eastwood And General 


Saint's phenomenal deejay 
cut Another One Bites The 
Dust, The Valentine Brothers’ 





The Merseybeats 
And Merseys 
ЖЖЖЖ 

| Stand Accused: 

The Complete 
Merseybeats and 
Merseys Sixties 


Recordings 
GRAPEFRUIT. CD/DL 


Mersey pop meets the beat 
boom: The Beatles once 
supported them. 


Close harmonies were intrinsic 
to The Merseybeats, with 
co-leaders Tony Crane and 
Billy Kinsley’s vocals intertwin- 
ing almost telepathically on 
their superb series of ‘60s hits: 
It's Love That Really Counts; | 
Think Of You (their biggest, it 
reached the Top 5); Don’t Turn 
Around; Wishin' And Hopin'. 
But their B-sides and the On 
Stage EP revealed a group 
capable of the rough stuff with 
enthusiastic readings of Long 
Tall Sally, Shame et al remind- 
ing us that they cut their teeth 
in Liverpool's clubs and pubs. 
When the group split in 1966, 
Crane and Kinsley formed The 
Merseys, best known for the 
classic Sorrow, later covered by 
Bowie. This double CD collects 
everything by the two groups 





modern soul influencer Money's 





Too Tight To Mention and the 
magnificent Monster Jam by 
Spoonie Gee And The Sequence. 


plus their various spin-offs 
including erstwhile Mersey- 
beat member John Gustafson's 
in-demand Polydor 45s. 

Lois Wilson 


Various 

ЖЖЖЖ 

Alligator Records: 

50 Years Of Genuine 
Houserockin' Music 
ALLIGATOR. CD 


The autobiography of the 
Chicago-based blues label in 
a 58-track 3-CD set. 


In 1971, when 


> Bruce Iglauer 
ALLIGATOR 
RECORDS 


bet his new 
label's shoe- 
string all on 
Hound Dog 
Taylor, he could not have imag- 
ined that Alligator Records 
would be around to celebrate 
50 years later, with 350-plus 
other releases besides. But 
here they are: the original 
heavy-hitters Koko Taylor, 
Albert Collins, Son Seals and 
Lonnie Brooks; the stalwarts 
Shemekia Copeland, Marcia 
Ball, Elvin Bishop, Rick Estrin, 
Tinsley Ellis and Lil' Ed & The 
Blues Imperials; the slightly 
left-field Holmes Brothers, 
Mavis Staples and C.J. Chenier; 
and the heart-stirring second- 
wave generation of Janiva 
Magness, Toronzo Cannon, 
Selwyn Birchwood and 
Christone 'Kingfish' Ingram. 
In both music and notes, the 
collection not only tells a 
story of hard work and 
hard-won success, but like a 
kaleidoscope refracts many 
of the shifts of tone and 













L3 
ያ Ready for the 806: 
! (from left) Sean 
= Rowley, Dave 
А | Pearce, Dr Robert, 
Gary Crowley. 


Lois Wilson 








94 MOJO 








colour, style and subject- 
matter, in the blues of our time. 
Tony Russell 


The Sorrows 
ЖЖЖ 


Pink, Purple, Yellow & 
Red: The Complete 


Sorrows 
GRAPEFRUIT. CD/DL 


Singles, albums, foreign 
language recordings, live 
tracks, outtakes and rarities. 


The Coventry 
outfit's entire 
recordings, 
together for 
the first time. 
The essential 
parts: the Don Fardon led 
'classic' line-up's 1965 UK LP 
Take A Heart, a tough freakbeat 
paragon including the brood- 
ing title track. Also, the four 
previously unissued Joe Meek- 
produced cuts from 1964, no 
messing R&B covers including 
harmonica-drenched takes on 
Hoochie Coochie Man and 
Don't Start Me Talkin’. Then the 
marginalia, mostly sans Fardon, 
when the group moved to Italy 
andit gets confusing, with 
various incarnations experi- 
menting in heavy psych. The 
best bits: Ypotron, their 1966 
theme to the Italian spy film of 
the same name; 1968's nine- 
track demo album; '69's Italy- 
only Old Songs, New Songs. The 
inclusion of a 1980 reunion gig 
seems wholly unnecessary. 
Lois Wilson 


Lonnie Mack 
ЖЖЖЖ 
Sa-Ba-Hoola! 

Two Sides Of Lonnie 
Mack — Fraternity 
Recordings 1963-1967 


ACE. CD/DL 


A best-of the guitar 
pioneer's early rockers. 


When Rolling 
Stone pro- 
claimed Mack 
"in a class by 
himself" in 
1968, his 1963 
debut LP The Wham Of That 
Memphis Man was re-released 
and Mack was resurrected 
from obscurity. Revered by Jeff 
Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughan and 
Bootsy Collins, his instrumen- 
tals of Chuck Berry's Memphis 
and his own Wham! prove why: 
flashy, lightning-fast runs; 
whammy-bar mastery; thrilling 
dynamics; orgasmic resolution. 
This 14-song anthology is 
divided by instrumentals (those 
two included) and vocals - he 
was also one of the mightiest 
blue-eyed soul men. Grounded 
in gospel, he’s pleading, testi- 
fying, screaming and sweating 
about the big stuff on Where 
There's A Will. His voice shared 
with his guitar the valleys-and- 
peaks approach within a song's 
confines. But it was his innova- 
tive pyrotechnics up and down 
the frets that changed the 
language of rock forever. 
Michael Simmons 


Barry Plummer 


Michael Lavine 









Dig the 
dirt 


The album that saved Sub Pop 
gets a deluxe 30th anniversary 
reissue. By Stevie Chick. 


Mudhoney 
ЖЖЖЖ 


Every Good Boy 
Deserves Fudge 


SUB POP. CD/DL/LP 


THEY’D EFFECTIVELY coined 
grunge’s gnarly sound and deadpan 
attitude, but just as commercial reward 
approached Seattle’s homegrown scene, 
pioneers Mudhoney seemed to have run 
aground. Guitarist Steve Turner felt they’d 
outlived their purpose. Drummer Dan Peters 
was moonlighting with Nirvana and Screaming 
Trees. Frontman Mark Arm was falling 
deeper under the spell of heroin. And Sub 
Pop — the label that had cannily marketed 
grunge — was facing bankruptcy. 

Such downer vibes might explain why 
Mudhoney’s first attempt at their second full- 
length LP fizzled out, but the true reason is 
more prosaic: the modern, 24-track studio 


they'd been recording in. Turner now grumbles 


that these early tracks — included on this deluxe 
30th anniversary reissue, along with B-sides 
and outtakes — “didn’t have the dirt”. So 
Mudhoney relocated to the more primitive Egg 
Studio, in | the basement of producer Conrad 
Uno and equipped with an 8-track recording 
desk built for Stax Records back in the ’60s. 
At Egg, Turner took the wheel and nudged 
Mudhoney away from Seattle’s trademark "70s 


heaviness, towards his beloved '60s garage 
rock, wah wah pedals benched in favour of 
more era-correct instruments. So the stop- 
start riff of Who You Drivin’ Now? — swiping 
at both an unnamed Seattle scenester and the 
Pinto, a Ford automobile notorious for 
catching fire — was accented by Arm’s Farfisa 


organ. Turner wheezed acidic harmonica over 


Move On and blew plaintive Dylanesque 
counter-melodies on affecting rumble Pokin’ 
Around, one of a clutch of songs on ...Fudge 
that showcased songwriting that had matured 
beyond the blackly comedic rut-rock of their 
origins. Broken Hands, meanwhile, built the 
harmonic outro to Neil Young’s Cinnamon 
Girl into a smouldering epic that remains one 
of Mudhoney’s finest. 

Released in July 1991, the initial sales of 

. Fudge - 100,000 units, which Sub Pop's 


Tome Pavitt considered akin to platinum 


Mudhoney: getting 
ready to outlive 


the trend they set. 


status for an indie album — won the label a 
momentary reprieve. However, the actual 
multi-platinum success of Nirvana’s Nevermind 
secured Sub Pop’s future, that breakthrough 
album resulting from an upgrade to a big- 
time studio where their sound was buffed up 
to a radio-friendly sheen. 

As the grunge era wore on and punk rock 
finally “broke”, ...Fudge's raw edges and 
freewheeling garage-rock moves sounded 
further and further adrift from the zeitgeist. 
Instead of grasping the moment, they’d made 
an album which — with its canny songcraft, 
biting wit and quest for “the dirt” — remains 
timeless. Scorning bogus concepts like 
“careerism” and “professionalism” to follow 
their instincts and their passions, Every Good 
Boy Deserves Fudge finds a group wise enough 
to outlive the trend they set, who burn 
brightly and brilliantly to this day. 








Lanterns On 
The Lake 
ЖЖЖЖ 


Gracious Tide, 
Take Me Home 


BELLA UNION. CD/DL/LP 
Tenth-anniversary makeover 
ofthe stately Tynesiders' 
debut album. 


A decade on 
from its first 
appearance, 
Lanterns On 
The Lake's 
debut album is 
reissued with the fresh context 
of knowing what came later. 
Early on, the Newcastle outfit 
described themselves as 
“cinematic indie". Here, there's 
a folkiness (viz, If I've Been 
Unkind) which was later lost. 
Also, the glitchiness and 
sepulchral approach of 
Iceland's mum (The Places We 
Call Home). Hints of Mazzy Star 
too. Despite the exquisiteness, 
what's now apparent is that 
the building blocks had not 
yet fused. During the ensuing 
and steady march, constant 
honing ensured it all gelled 
and, last year, dramatic fourth 
album Spook The Herd was 
shortlisted for the Mercury 
Prize. With five previously 
unheard bonus tracks from the 


album sessions (the spectral 
Sapsorrow is great), this is a 
welcome reminder of how 
single-mindedness can bring 
artistic rewards. 

Kieron Tyler 


Matthew Dear 
ЖЖЖ 

Preacher's Sigh & 
Potion: Lost Album 


GHOSTLY INTERNATIONAL. CD/DL/LP. 


Texan electronic musician's 
2009 LP, now off the shelf. 


Back in 2008/9, 
| in-between 
releasing his 
third and 

Î! fourth albums 
E - 20075 housey 
Asa Breed and the moody 
cinematic pop of 2010's Black 
City - Matthew Dear experi- 
mented with a different 
direction. Borrowing his 
country guitar-playing father's 
instruments and taking a loop- 
based approach to traditional 
finger-picking styles, often 
layered over sparse beats, he 
produced 11 tracks before 
deciding not to release them. 
In some instances, it's easy to 
see why, with the scrappy 
post-modern blues of Crash 
And Burn being a less success- 








ful take on Beck's early records. 
Far more cohesive are Muscle 
Beach’s tale of a juvenile delin- 
quent (with his "fingers caught 
in the windowsill") and the 
sub-aqueous atmosphere of 
mumbly bad habits confes- 
sional Supper Times. But over- 
all, Preacher's Sigh & Potion... 
has a sketchy feel that will 
likely only appeal to those 
keen to hear every stage of 
Dear’s musical development. 
Tom Doyle 


Mistreater 
ЖЖЖЖ 
Hell's Fire 


ON THE DOLE. LP 


Ultra-obscure Ohio stoner- 
metal find from 1981. 


Courtesy of 
the Swedish 
imprint behind 
the Jobcentre 
Rejects comps 
of rare early- 
'80s New Wave Of British 
Heavy Metal, here’s a stand- 
alone US heavy metal reissue 
to die for. Mistreater hailed not 
from Brum or Wolverhampton, 
but Creston, Ohio, a backwater 
‘village’ sandwiched between 
Cleveland and Akron. Their 
fret-mangling leader, Larry 


Nottingham, much like Tony 
lommi and other axe-wielding 
Midlanders, was a blue-collar 
industrial worker who, at 21, 
corralled his comrades to blast 
out Hell's Fire in a 17-hour 
weekend at Indiana’s cheapo 
700 West facility and self- 
release a thousand copies, all 
for just $1,700. Woefully retro 
in aregion then fecund with 
punk rock, this irredeemably 
hard-rocking quartet audibly 
doted on Deep Purple's 
Machine Head and all things 
Sabbath, yet, however unwit- 
tingly, also packed the feral 
urgency of Cleveland punkers 
The Dead Boys, making for a 
uniquely steely listen today. 
Recorded entirely live but for 
Curt Luedy's Gillan-esque 
keening, these nuggets 
achieve singular heaviosity. 
Andrew Perry 


Breathless 
ЖЖЖЖ 

Between Happiness 
And Heartache 
TENOR VOSSA. DL/LP 


30th anniversary pink vinyl 
edition of London quartet's 
fourth and finest album. 


There are voices suited to 
imparting bittersweet regret, 


and then there are voices that 
sound irredeemably bereaved, 
like Dominic Appleton. He 
ensures that Breathless have 
always veered much closer to 
heartache than happiness, just 
in case song titles like | Never 
Know Where You Are and Help 
Me Get Over It haven't made it 
plain enough. Virtually a con- 
cept album about unrequited 
love, the record also chooses 
for its sole cover The Only 
Ones’ rarity Flowers Die (“I feel 
so helplessly alone, alone, 
alone, alone”). Appleton 
employs no masking meta- 
phors, neither do his gorgeous 
melodies try to put on a brave 
face. That said, Between... is as 


liable to flex its muscles in a 
gothic, dreampop fashion as it 
is exposing delicate veins and 
broken hearts. Comes with a 
downloadable bonus track of 
1992's B-side Everything | See. 
Martin Aston 





MOJO 95 


Completely at odds: 
Annette Peacock, on- 
stage at the Bataclan, 
Paris, 1981. 





Shake a tail feather 


T’S SO TOUGH to pin down what 

Annette Peacock does, I’ve rewritten 

this column three times — so please t take 
everything I’m about to say with a pinch of 
salt! Born in 1941, 
practitioner in the New York jazz avant- 
garde by the time she moved to London in 
the late ’70s. She'd also been a pioneer of 
electronic music, with second husband 
Paul Bley, an early adopter of the Moog 
synthesizer, using it to distort and colour 
her singing voice as early as 1969. She is 


Peacock was a seasoned 


repor tedly the person who turned David 
Bowi 1e onto electronic music (and may have 
introduced him to her fr iend, pianist “Mike 
Garson), while they were both signed to 
RCA. She made the hip I’m The One there 
in 1972, just after The Paul Bley Synthesizer 
Show, an album entirely comprising her 
compositions. (Bley had form for this: 
Barrage i in 1965 was composed by his 
previous wife, Carla Bley.) In the future 
she’d make records that have elements of 
chamber music, opera, and musique concrete; 
her output is essentially category-free, 
though rooted in the mood of jazz. On a 
brace of albums for the curious Aura label, 
now reissued by Sundazed, she crafted rock 
and funk grooves as the basis for stream-of- 
consciousness lyrics, sometimes sung, 
sometimes intoned like a sleepy sermon. 
For X-Dreams (Aura/Sundazed) 
her second LP, recorded in London and 


96 MOJO 


released in 1978, she mothballed the synth 
and the free jazz and used the current cream 
of session musicians — among them rock 
guitarists Mick Ronson and Chris Spedding, 
drummers Bill Bruford and John Halsey and 
sax player George Kahn — to conjure c candid 
ruminations about sexual politics. My Mama 
Never Taught Me How To Cook utilises a 
languid funk which Peacock wails over like 
Betty Davis: “I’m not good at the wheeling, 
not much better at the 
dealing, but I’m a fantastic 
ride.” Then she caps it with 
“Hey man, my destiny is not 
to serve/I’m a woman, my 
destiny is to create.” The 
11-minute Real & Defined 
Androgens is reminiscent 

of Roxy Music’s The Bogus 
Man, a mid- tempo groove 
rolled around and around 
while it becomes 
increasingly noisy and 
frenetic, Peacock’s seductive “| 
speak-sing delivery gently 
turning up the heat. 

Her breathy singing 
voice = like a blend of Dusty 
Springfield and Peggy Lee 
— is featured on the 
mellower second side for 
This Feel Within and 
gorgeous Too Much In the 
Skies, where her lyrical 
piano playing really 
connects. A sleazy, 
reharmonised crack at 


Elvis’s Don’t Be Cruel is 


ANNETTE PEACOCK 








akin to one of John Cale’s vaguely irreverent 
revisits. I recall this appearing as a single in 

1978 and it feeling completely at odds with 

what was happening at the time, but all the 

more weirdly exotic for it. 

The following year’s companion piece, 
The Perfect Release (Aura/Sundazed) 
is funkier musically, more ambivalent 
lyrically. “Life’s hopeful between the 
thighs,” she sighs on The Succubus, though 
on Love’s Out To Lunch she 
notes, “There’s more to love 
than the balling.” American 
Sport is scathing about 


X-DREAMS 


capitalism, the reggae- 
tinged Rubber Hunger 
appears to be about 
someone addicted to sex 
toys, and on lengthy, slap- 
bass closer Surv val she 
casts herself as a distaff 
Gil Scott-Heron speaking 
of personal revolution. 
“All leaders are 
opportunists... drawn 

by the cry of a multitude,” 
she declares. 

These idiosyncratic 
albums, long out of print on 
vinyl, come in handsome 
new editions, mastered at 
Third Man, pressed on lurid 
coloured vinyl, and, in the 
case of X-Dreams, with 
added sleevenotes. Still 
unclassifiable, their unique 





spirit and mesmerising 
mood holds up very well. 


Dalle APRF 


Chris Barber 
ЖЖЖЖ 
A Trailblazer's Legacy 


THE LAST MUSIC COMPANY. CD/DL 


Magnificent tribute to the 
late Godfather of British 
jazz, blues and skiffle. 


Barber's death 
earlier this year at 
the age of 90 
closed an impor- 
tant chapter in 
post-war British 
popular music; an epoch indel- 
ibly shaped by the Welwyn 
Garden City trombonist’s 
adventures in black American 
music that began in the 1950s 
and which inspired several 
generations of young British 
musicians, including The 
Beatles and The Rolling Stones. 
Spanning 1951-2018, this 4-CD 
compendium brings together 
essential studio and live 
recordings that attest to Bar- 
ber's pioneering spirit via his 
exploration of New Orleans- 
style 'trad jazz' and his role in 
popularising skiffle (he played 
bass on Lonnie Donegan's 
landmark Rock Island Line). 
Among the highlights are 
collaborations with Sister 
Rosetta Tharpe, Sonny Terry & 
Brownie McGhee, and Van 
Morrison, while Alyn 

Shipton's 18,000-word essay 
and a stunning array of archival 
photographs helps to bring 
Barber's remarkable story alive. 
Charles Waring 





Various 

ЖЖЖЖ 

The Last Shall Be First: 
The JCR Records 


Story, Volume Two 
BIBLE & TIRE. CD/DL 


Another 18 nourishing 
tracks of 'lost' gospel from 
small Memphis label. 


Almost exactly 
a year ago, the 
first instalment 
of highlights 
from JCR, a 
Memphis label 
founded by local pastor Juan 
Shipp to house off-cuts from 
his other label, D-Vine Spiritual, 
was testament to a man of 
uncompromising judgement. 
Although the acts 'relegated' 
to JCR were often raw, they 
were honest, believable and 
definitely not untalented, their 
soul-flavoured gospel driven 
by uplifting performances. 
Here, old friends return - The 
Calvary Nightingales, who'd 
opened Volume One, The Dixie 
Wonders, The Bible Tones, the 
excellent Spiritual Harmonizers 
-and there are seven welcome 
new additions. The Friendly 
QC's' Let's Praise His Name 
struts along at a fierce pace, 
the tempo set by lithesome 
bass guitar, while The Sons 
Of Harmony and The Silver 
Wings feature beefy lead 
voices and The Breckenridge 
Singers' Man On The Moon 
foresees that "some day 
there'll be lots of people living 
2 onthe moon." 
5 Geoff Brown 


Tony Allen & 
Africa 70 
ЖЖЖЖ 


No Accommodation 


For Lagos 
COMET. LP 


The Afrobeat drummer's last 
solo gasp with Fela. 
E ጩፕፒ:::: Continuing 

ЕЕ У their compre- 
M hensive Tony 
li Allen reissue 
ЖЫ 7 2 programme, 
DO Mu the latest 
offering from French label 
Comet is No Accommodation 
For Lagos, the third of the solo 
albums that drummer Allen 
recorded with Africa 70 behind 
him and Fela Kuti in the 
producer's chair. On the A-side, 
over a tight Afrobeat groove 
that is entirely in keeping 
with Fela's late-'70s releases, 
vocalist Candido Obajimi sings 
of the chronic housing short- 
ages facing new arrivals in the 
Nigerian capital, with Fela on 
didactic electric piano and 
Allen procuring a complex 
rhythmic backbeat. On the 
more fluid B-side, the musings 
on Afrobeat's content and 
form titled African Message 
points to the evolving hybrid 
style that Allen would further 
develop with his African 
Messengers on subsequent 
release No Discrimination, 
which is also released in the 
series, the latter marking his 
definitive break with Fela. 

David Katz 






Various 
ЖЖЖЖ 

Utopic Cities: 
Progressive Jazz In 
Belgium 1968-1979 


SDBAN. CD/DL/LP 


Fusion and avant-garde 
gems from a revolutionary 
era in Belgian jazz. 


As a compan- 
ion piece to 
2017's Let's Get 
Swinging, this 
esoteric, eclec- 
2 tic selection 
shows how Belgian's jazz 
musicians mobilised after 
1968's riots, surprised to find 
their guerrilla take on the US 
avant-garde embraced by 
rebellious youth. While that's 
more than covered by adven- 
turous, genuinely out-there 
turns by Brussels Art Quintet, 
Raphaél and Kenny Clarke- 
Francy Boland Big Band, its 
early jazz fusions impress 
even more. Electric pianist 
Marc Moulin sets the bar high 
(both with Placebo and amid 
the wailing hippopotamus 
cries of Tohubohu), matched 
by Solis Lacus's funky title 
track, a nine-minute stunner 
from Koen De Bruyne, and Cali- 
fornian pianist Ron Wilson's 
arch vocal turn with Open Sky 
Unit. Repeat credits speak of 
the Belgian scene's often- 
incestuous nature - it 
effectively became a jazz 
island, entire of itself. 

Andy Cowan 





FILTER REISSUES 








Core values 


Carr is just one of seven stars 
on a sensational proto hip-hop 
UK jazz-rock jamboree. 

By Ben Thompson. 


lan Carr’s Nucleus 
ЖАЖА 


Roots 


BEWITHRECORDS. CD/DL/LP 


“TT’S BASICALLY already hip-hop." Thus 
one veteran UK turntablist explains the 
enduring allure this previously hard-to- 
locate 1973 Vertigo landmark’s amazing 
title-track has for the blunted beats 
fraternity. Edited down from its original 
40 minutes to a pithy nine and a half, 
Roots is at the same time one very long 
breakbeat, and as close as fully home- 
grown British jazz ever got (pretty damn 
adjacent in this case) to the entrancing 
fluidity of Miles Davis in his John 
McLaughlin phase. The best I can do for 
a capsule description is Fela Kuti trying 
to cover Billy Cobham’s Spectrum with 
David Axelrod in the control room. 
Maybe you're a Nucleus neophyte, 
keen to put the closing number on Direct 
Hits back in its original context. (If Alan 
Partridge was right about The Beatles’ 
best album being The Beatles’ Greatest Hits, 
how much more true might that be of Ian 
Carr's shape-shifting jazz-rock fusion 
ensemble?) Or perhaps you were sent this 
way by Madlib’s deft Roots repurposing. 
Last but not least, I would also say that for 
those previously haunted by fear of fusion, 
Roots would be a hell of a gateway drug. 
This is the sixth and perhaps best of 


the nine albums 
that different 
versions of Ian 
Carr’s Nucleus 
released from 
1970-75. While 
Miles Davis was 
the obvious contemporary parallel in 
terms of shifting personnel on a musical 
mission where one man’s word bein 

law seems to have brought out the best 

in everyone, posterity allows us to mix 

in The Fall as a rogue comparative 
element (Belladonna, the fourth in the 
sequence, was credited to Carr alone, 
because the only ones that could stand 
the pace by that point were him and his 
granny on bongos). 

Pieced together at the time from 
various sources, reflecting the 
precariousness of such virtuosic 
endeavour (can you guess which track 
began life as the third movement in a 
four-part suite to celebrate Shakespeare’s 
birthday?), Roots can be heard almost half 
a century on as a brilliantly sequenced, 
entirely satisfying musical adventure. The 
stunning theoretical handbrake turn from 
the ticking hi-hat Herbie Hancock heist 
movie soundtrack of the opening number 
into the Arcadian vocal space-jazz of 
Images, featuring singer Joy Yates, is 
negotiated with effortless poise. The 
whole world is indeed Nucleus's oyster- 
bed. And as for the concluding segue 
from the cowbell-driven jazz/metal 
musique concréte of Odokamona into the 
redemptive Mingus tribute of Southern 
Roots And Celebration, well, you've got 
to hear it to believe it. 





lan Carr: embarked оп 
an entirely satisfying 
musical adventure. 





MOJO 97 





David Bowie 
ЖЖЖЖ 

The Width 
Of A Circle 


PARLOPHONE. CD/DL 


Two-disc compilation of live 
performances and radically 
enhanced studio fare. 


David Bowie's pre-Hunky Dory 
output has many a devotee 
enchanted by his folky, 
whimsical early catalogue, and 
this compilation will not 
disappoint. CD1, Bowie's 1970 
performance on ВВС1%5 
Sunday showcase for new 
music, Top Gear, is compered 
by a snoozy prog-rock version 
of John Peel. Yes, Bowie's live 
vocalis excellent on a cover of 
Jacques Brel's Amsterdam, and 
the sound is seriously beefed 
up by the addition of Tony 
Visconti (bass) and Mick 
Ronson (lead guitar) partway 
through the set, but massively 
new or consistently brilliant it 
is not. CD2, a mix of live cuts 
and restored studio tracks, 
does indicate that Bowie was 
indeed becoming the special 
one: the single edits of 
Memory Of A Free Festival 
and All The Madmen, along 
with the possessed 





Vault series. Thirteen 


FILTER REISSUES 


Nietzschean The Supermen, 
are blueprints for Bowie's 
radical musical future. 

David Buckley 


ШИИ 


Lipstick Killers 
ЖЖЖЖ 

Strange Flash: 
Studio & Live 78-81 


GROWN UP WRONG! С/Р 


Two wild CDs of Aussie 
garage revival one-hit 
wonders. 


Founded in 
the Sydney 
high-energy 
slipstream of 
Radio Birdman, 
Lipstick Killers 
released only one single 
during their brief lifetime, but 
it was enough for immortality: 
the next-wave-Nuggets feroc- 
ity of 1979's Hindu Gods Of 
Love, produced by Birdman 
guitarist Deniz Tek. Incredibly, 
no studio album followed, and 
the band did not survive a 
move to Los Angeles, breaking 
up on the eve of a deal with 
Slash Records. This rear-view 
mirror mayhem - studio 
demos from 1978 and 1980; 
stage action in Adelaide and at 
theLA punk club Madame 
Wong's - argues for what 
could have been. Live covers 
affirm the roots in play (Mitch 
Ryder, The 13th Floor Eleva- 
tors), but it's the blazing, bruis- 
ing invention in the originals 
(Mesmerizer, Driving The 
Special Dead, Liquor Fit) that 
justifies the legend rightly 
attached to that lone single. 
David Fricke 


Noel Gallagher's 
High Flying Birds 
ЖЖЖЖ 

Back The Way 

We Came Vol. | 
Q011-2021) 


SOUR MASH. 2CD/DL/2LP 


Retrospective feast from his 
inaugural solo decade. 





EI In the fledgling 
ራ Oasis interview 
documented on 
1995's Wib- 
bling Rivalry, 
the Gallagher 
brothers were already arguing 
about musical evolution, and 
when the band split in 2009 
they'd proved unable to evolve 
satisfyingly beyond Morning 
Glory's anthemic humungity, 
stuck, to quote Noel, in "gres- 
sion" mode. Since freed of 
stadium obligation, Gallagher 
Sr talks of his solo career as 
“like a flower unfolding" (see 
MOJO 322). That image holds 
good for this roughly chrono- 
logical 18-song canter through 
his first 10 High Flying years, as 
tight-arsed neo-Manc stric- 
tures quickly loosen to allow 
delicious infusions from 
Chicago, New Orleans and 
Brazil. By CD2's selections from 
2019-20's three EPs, ethereal 
disco (Black Star Dancing) and 
untethered јоу (A Dream Is All 
І Need To Get By) are the 
defining characteristics. Two 
new gospel-voiced cuts, the 
slow-burning We're On Our 
Way Now and the breezy, Style 
Council-ish Flying On The 
Ground, complete the sense of 
spiritual uplift. 
Andrew Perry 


OF THE MONTH 


The White 
Stripes 
White Blood 
Cells ХХ 


THIRD MAN 


“Ice cream sandwich at the 
liquor store”, anyone? 
That's the tantalising 
proposition offered up in 
That’s Where It’s At, one of 
many unheard White 
Stripes gems on the hefty 
White Blood Cells XX set for 
subscribers to Third Man’s 


demos and outtakes chart 
the album’s gestation, often 
sketchily essayed on a 
boombox. Unreleased songs 
are half-formed: the sweeter 
That’s Where It’s At would 
eventually become the 
operatically paranoid I 
Think I Smell A Rat, with 
only the “baseball bat” 
reference retained from this 
first lyrical draft. The 
McCartneyish Ooh-Aah and 
Feel Like I'm Three Feet 
Tall were never, it seems, 


ЕТЕНЕ? (А 


98 МОЈО 


completed. It's a candid 
portrait ofa songwriter at 
work, complemented by a 
2001 Louisville set that 
bottles the still-shocking 
intensity of The White 
Stripes live experience (Son 
House's Death Letter, as at 
so many 2001 shows, is 
outrageous and pivotal). 
There's also an hour of 
in-studio footage: a raw and 
radical garage band, on the 
cusp of something 
unimaginable. 


John Mulvey 














Motorhead: 
feel something 
in your guts. 


Miles Davis 
ЖЖЖЖ 
Merci Miles! 
Live At Vienne 


WARNER BROS. CD/DL/LP 


Trumpet legend's poignant 
farewell to France. 


France had 

always been a 

happy hunting 

ground for 

Miles Davis 

since his first 
visit in 1949; it's where he fell 
in love with actress Juliette 
Greco and also recorded one 
of his finest albums, 1958's 
Ascenseur Pour L'échafaud. His 
final tour there in July 1991, 
three months before his death, 
saw him appear at the Vienne 
jazz festival. That concert is 
now released to mark the 30th 
anniversary of his passing. 
Despite his supposed frailty, 
Miles doesn't sound like he's 
ailing on the set's eight tracks, 
which include terrific extended 
versions of Michael Jackson's 
Human Nature and Cyndi 
Lauper's Time After Time. 
Also noteworthy are a couple 
of Prince tunes (the funk- 
powered Penetration and 
bluesy Jailbait), which allow 
the trumpeter's excellent 
band to flex its chops. A must- 
hear album for fans of late 
period Miles. 

Charles Waring 


Motórhead 
ЖЖЖЖЖ 

No Sleep ТІ 
Hammersmith — 40th 


Anniversary Box-Set 
BMG / SANCTUARY. CD/LP 


The apogee of their 
"everything louder than 
everything else" motto. 


ል UK Number 1 
with a bullet 
(belt) in June 
1981, No Sleep 
‘Til Hammer- 
smith still 
stands as the definitive 
document of Motórhead's 
very British din. If you were 
one of denim and leather's 
great unwashed, experiencing 
their frantic, no frills wattage 
live was a cherished rite of 
passage. It was also a bit like 


getorbeay 








salmonella: something to feel 
in your guts and survive. 
Newly expanded to include 
soundcheck recordings and 
the entirety of the Newcastle 
and Leeds gigs from which the 
original tracklisting was culled, 
this 40th anniversary celebra- 
tion speaks of a grubbier, 
dingier UK, but there's also 
a notably egalitarian aspect 
to the band's electrifying, 
amphetamine-fuelled 
performances. Lemmy's do 
or die stage presence is all 
about inclusivity, and who 
but Motórhead would pen We 
Are The Road Crew, a raucous 
and heartfelt tribute to their 
indefatigable enablers. 

James McNair 


Various 


ЖЖЖЖ 
Studio One Roots 


SOUL JAZZ. LP 


Blue vinyl reissue of this 
excellent 2001 compilation 
makes crucial listening. 


Studio One's 
roots reggae 
output was as 
enthralling as 
its ground- 
breaking ska, 
a combination of lo-fi 
equipment, top-notch session 
players and idiosyncratic 
recording methods rendering 
a readily-identifiable sound 
perfectly suited to the emerg- 
ing form, which placed an 
emphasis on social issues and 
Rastafari consciousness in the 
early 1970s. Compiled 20 years 
ago by Honest Jon's Mark 
Ainley and now available on 
beautiful blue vinyl, this collec- 
tion has rare Africa-focused 
singles from Count Ossie, 

The Gaylads and Willie 
Williams, whose Addis A Baba 
updates the Skatalites classic, 
while Winston Jarrett's Fear 
Not is an alternate reading 

of Burning Spear's Rocking 
Time. Elsewhere, Bunnie And 
Skitter lament the murder of 
Congolese revolutionary 
Patrice Lumumba, Horsemouth 
Wallace sets a Mutabaruka 
identity poem to a melodica 
adaptation of Do Your Thing, 
and Alton Ellis describes 

a vision of racial oppression 

in symbolic terms. 


Rick Saunders 


David Katz 


Gaélle Leroyer 


нивоу GURDY SONGS | 


aus T MS 








Various 
ЖЖЖЖ 
Hurdy Gurdy Songs 


ACE. CD/DL 

Celebrating the psychedelic 
poet laureate, now in his 
75th year. 


Donovan's complete 
investment in the hippy ideal 
has often distracted from his 
ability as a tunesmith so this 
album of interpretations by his 
'60s peers - the latest in Ace's 
superb Songwriter Series — is a 
welcome reminder of his rich 
songbook and impact on the 
decade's cultural identity. 
Spanning 1967 to '71, some of 
the 24 tracks - like Herman's 
Hermits' cover of Museum 
and The Standells' take on 
Sunshine Superman - closely 
follow Donovan's psych pop 
blueprint. Others, though, are 
more radical in their approach 
апа it's these that provide the 
thrills; in particular, Dandy's 
pop reggae version of There Is 
A Mountain, Lou Rawls' soul 
jazz reading of Season Of 
The Witch, Gábor Szabó's 
psychotropic Three King 
Fishers, and Eartha Kitt's Hurdy 
Gurdy Man, in her hands a 
lusty Chaucerian come-on. 
Lois Wilson 


FJ HARVEY 





Р.). Harvey 
ЖЖЖЖ 
White Chalk — Demos 


BEGGARS ARCHIVE/TOO PURE. 
CD/DL/LP 

Sketchbook strangeness 
from the Wessex downlands. 


2007's White Chalk found an 
increasingly dauntless Polly 
Harvey treading new ground, 
ditching raw electric rock for a 
daringly fragile chamber-folk 
sound. With songs built 
around her percussive, 
rudimentary piano vamps and 
delivered in a high, haunting 
vocal register, its bleak beauty 
and rural mystery recast 
Harvey as a gothic Dorset 
seer, summoning spirits both 
innocent and dark. Stripped 
of even the album's minimal 
decoration, these demos 
confirm that uncanniness was 
hard-wired into the songs, 
with every creak of the piano 
contributing to the spectral 
ambience. The spareness 
serves only to exacerbate the 





eerie, infant vulnerability of 
Grow, Grow, Grow, while When 
Under Ether almost evaporates 
into its amniotic reverb swirl, 
and the double-tracked voices 
on The Devil seem to be more 
about the evocation of 
possession than harmonic 
mellifluousness. Like much 
here, it's as starkly compelling 
as itis ineffably disquieting. 
David Sheppard 


Andy Irvine 
ЖЖЖ 

Old Dog Long Road 
Vol. 2 


AK-9. CD/DL 


Rewarding ramble through 
the back pages of an Irish 
master. 


Sweeney's 
Men, Planxty, 
Patrick Street, 
Mozaic... 
Andy Irvine's 

ገ extensive CV 
encompasses so much of 
enduring significance in Irish 
music over the last half century 
it's easy to overlook what an 
informally masterful solo 
performer he has always been. 
Greater profile focuses on 
contemporaries like Christy 
Moore, but Irvine's intimate 
lyrical style, plaintive 
narratives and dexterous 
instrumentals make him a 
unique figure. This 23-track 
2-CD set stretches back to 
1961, and while the sound 
quality understandably varies, 
it monitors a fascinating 
journey from Woody Guthrie 
imitator to great ballads and 
tales of unsung heroes to jigs, 
reels and a beautiful blast of 
Greek music too. Mostly solo, 
it's less well trodden than Vol. 1 
and is better for it, whether 
featuring Chrysoula 
Kechagioglou on The Snows, 
singing with Planxty on a 
mesmerising live version of As 
Roved Out, or his own 1969 
take on You Fascists Bound To 
Lose. A classic troubadour. 
Colin Irwin 





COMING 
NEXT MONTH... 


Sparks, Leon Bridges, Alice 
Coltrane, George Harrison, Gary 
Kemp, Martha Wainwright 
(pictured), Shannon & The Clams, 
Devendra Banhart, Little Steven, 
Willy Mason, Josienne Clarke, 
Karen Black, Juana Molina, 
Jackson Browne and тоге... 








BRICOLAGE 


Bricolage 
ЖЖЖЖ 


Bricolage 

CREEPING BENT. CD/DL/LP 

Sole 2009 LP by Glasgow art 
school quartet who split on 
single The Waltzers' release 
day (a sugary swirl of The La's 
and ELO). Produced by Altered 
Images' Stephen Lironi, wistful 
retro pop with skills to match 
smarts, ripe for rediscovery. JB 





ЖЖЖ 
Eboni Band 


WE ARE BUSY BODIES. DL/LP 


This marriage of Motown and 
West Africa is intriguing in its 
potential but disappointing in 
reality. Five songs, produced 
by Art Stewart (Marvin Gaye, 
Rick James) with US and Ivory 
Coast musicians, range from 
generic party-time funk-disco 
(Sing A Happy Song) to lightly 
Afro-flavoured groovers. CP 





ЖЖЖЖ 


Јата Кісо 
2-TONE. LP 


In 1982, the veteran Jamaican 
trombonist ignored fashion 
and cut no-fooling, vintage- 
sounding jazzy-reggae and ska 
with Jamaican/British players 
including Tommy McCook, 

Sly & Robbie and various 
Specials. Remastered, as is 
1981's That Man Is Forward, on 
heavy black wax. IH 





= TEEN TRASH SENSATION? 


3 -Çourettes 


The Courettes 
ЖЖЖЖ 
Неге Ме Аге 


DAMAGED GOODS. CD/DL/LP. 


Danish/Brazilian husband/wife, 
drums/guitar duo Martin and 
Flavia Couri make spit'n'snarl 
garage rumble-meets-Phil 
Spector pop. This compiles 
their first two LPs, showcasing 
their adrenalised crunch 
before a new LP in October. JB 


The Fall 

ЖЖЖЖ 

Are You Аге 

Missing Winner 

CHERRY RED/FALL SOUND ARCHIVE. 
CD/LP 

It seemed like MES's jig was up 
when this scrappy, low-cost LP 
arrived in 2001. Instead, it was 
a re-boot, with garage attack, 
Leadbelly and Iggy covers and 
Troggs-sampling invoking livid 
chaos galore. Live shows beef 
up the 4-CD version. IH 





Dyke & 
The Blazers 
ЖЖЖЖ 


Down On Funky 


Broadway 

CRAFT. DL/LP 

Phoenix, AZ band fronted by 
brusque-voiced Arlester 'Dyke' 
Christian. Blistering, raw, 1966- 
67 funk. Full of extras, as is 
second set / Got a Message: 
Hollywood (1968-1970). GB 








Noah 
ЖЖЖЖ 


Brain Suck 

GUERSSEN. CD/DL/LP 

1972 heavy psych/prog 
concept LP from Salem, Ohio. 
Avocados Grumbled sets a 
tone of Sabbath-worthy future 
doom, whirling Hammond and 
lumbering riffs. Hard to tell 
what's sucking brains - drugs, 
aliens, The Man? - but it's scary 
in a good way. LP2 is pre-Noah 
garage as Sound Barrier. JB 





Various 
kK Kk Kk XK 
The Trojan Story 


BMG. CD/LP 


Rights issues mean this isn't an 
exact replica of 1971's triple-LP 
label anthology: nine originals 
replaced, but there's two 
bonus cuts, and it remains an 
essential account of the ska 
wave, with hits from Dandy, 
The Maytals, Phyllis Dillon, Lee 
Perry et al. The original Trojan 
comp, and still the best. KC 


Violent Femmes 
ЖЖЖ 
Add It Up (1981-1993) 


CRAFT RECORDINGS. DL/LP 
Milwaukee pioneers' 1993 
compilation now on double 
vinyl for the band's 40th 
anniversary. The carnal skiffle 
punk rush of 1983's debut and 
Hallowed Ground's proto alt- 
country are unimpeachable, 
though they were prone to 
whimsical diversion. JB 














RATINGS & FORMATS 
Your guide to the month's best musicis now even more definitive with our handy format guide. 
CD COMPACT DISC DL DOWNLOAD ST STREAMING LP VINYL 
МС CASSETTE DVD DIGITAL VERSATILE DISC CIN CINEMAS BR BLU-RAY 





ХЖЖАЖА ЖЖЖЖ ЖЖЖ 
EXCELLENT 


MOJO CLASSIC 


kk 
6000 


DISAPPOINTING 


* ኙየ 
BEST AVOIDED DEPLORABLE 





MOJO 99 





Spaced oddities: 

Furry Animals (from 
left) Dafydd leuan, Guto 
Pryce, Gruff Rhys, Huw 
Bunford, Cian Ciaran. 


Redferns 


super Furry Animals 


The 


D 
H 
[ 
| 





по, melancholic 





elic- е 
machine. By Keith መ on. 


MONG THE MANY priceless Super Furry 
A fables, perhaps most revealing is the one 

about Creation Records’ Alan McGee 
checking out his label’s potential new signings at a 
north London pub gig He thought they were good 
but advised singing in English. Puzzled, the band 
replied that they already were. 

Otherworldliness came naturally to Super Furry 
Animals. Mustered in early-'90s Cardiff, guitarist 
Huw ‘Bunf’ Bunford, drummer Dafydd Ieuan, bassist 
Guto Price and singer-guitarist Gruff Rhys were 
mainstays of a Welsh language scene unable to satisfy 
their restless ambition. Rhys and Ieuan's previous 
band, Ffa Coffi Pawb, released three albums on the 
Ankst label, thus learning the basics of recording 
technique, and once united with U Thant's Bunford 
and Price they formulated SFA's utopian design: 
classic rock and timeless melody reconditioned for 
the acid house generation. After two 
Ankst EPs in 1995, Ieuan's younger 
brother Cian Ciaran joined on 
keyboards to effect the quantum 
leap into Furryworld that was 
1996's debut album Fuzzy Logic. 

The band's pent-up anarchic 
energy and Creation's Oasis-enabled 
largesse made a happy marriage. 

Instead of music press adverts for the 


100 MOJO 





This month you 
chose your Top 10 
Super Furry 
Animals LPs. Next 
month we want 
your KEVIN COYNE 
Top 10. Send 
selections via 
Twitter, Facebook, 
Instagram or 
e-mail to mojo@ 
bauermedia.co.uk 
with the subject 
‘How To Buy Kevin 
Coyne’. We'll print 
the best comments. 


single If You Don’t Want Me To 
Destroy You, they bought a tank, 
which parked up at festivals and 
blasted ear-bleed techno to 
boggle-eyed ravers. “We were 
too idiosy ncratic for mass appeal,” 
Gruff Rhys later considered, 

“but our theory was if people 

get bombarded with stuff, they'll 











accept anything.” 
Arun of nine albums saw Super Furry Animals 
cavalierly surfing the trad/rad crosscurrents of their 


collective mind. Although Rings Around The World, a 


UK Number 3 and MOJO’s 2001 Album Of The Year, 


was a commercial peak, every SFA record has 
something to reward seekers of the sacred meeting 
space between sad balladry and punk aggro, sunshine 
harmonies and extreme frequencies, psychedelic 
hedonism and militant politics — sometimes all in the 
same song. Since 2009's Dark Days/Light Years, the 
band has been dormant while Rhys concentrates on 
solo work, though 2016 saw them touring behind the 
Zoom! best-of and Fuzzy Logic’s 20th 
anniversary reissue. In 2020, SFA 
minus Rhys released a single under 
the name Das Koolies. All would 
surely agree, however, that the 
world is a poorer place for the 
absence of Furryvision. 
And the tank? Sold to Don 
Henley, who had it shipped to Texas. 
Now that’s fuzzy logic for you. 





Super Furry 
Animals 
Love Kraft 


EPIC, 

You say: “Love Kraft is under- 
rated and an amazing 
display of SFA's talents." 
Mark Green, Twitter 


Released in the band's 10th 
anniversary year, Love Kraft 
ostensibly signalled a retreat 
into tradition. Opener Zoom 
refracted The Needle And The 
Damage Done into a choog- 
ling choral lament for the 
apocalypse. Perhaps signifi- 
cantly, Love Kraft opened up 
the lead vocal booth to all- 
comers (Rhys’ solo debut came 
out earlier the same year), with 
Dafydd leuan’s Atomik Lust 
positing a stoned union of The 
Beach Boys’ Feel Flows and 
Mott The Hoople knees-up, all 
the better to “Get our shit 
together”. Lazer Beam, mean- 
while, recorded in Spain and 
mixed in Brazil with producer 
Mario Caldato Jr, was pure 
Furry fiesta: a rhythmic booty 
call to vaporise “imperial 
colonial bastards.” 


mwng 


Super Furry 


Animals Mwng 
PLACID CASUAL, 


You say: "Highest selling 
Welsh language album of all 
time! Beautiful and mind- 
boggling at once." Michael 
Scarlett via mojo4music.com 


It's a very Super Furry Animals 
thing that the album which 
least resembles their popularly 
recognised sound 15 actually 
closest to the band's root 
source. Recorded mostly live, 
Mwng dispensed with the 
hyper-ventilatory input over- 
load of the preceding year's 
Guerrilla and circled the 
Furrywagons around core 
values. Entirely Welsh-sung, 
mostly mid-tempo, full of 
rustic melancholy beatitudes, 
with some lovely brass (Y 
Gwyneb Lau), the occasional 
burst of backporch glam skronk 
(Ysbeidiau Heulog), it features 
two instructive covers: Y Teimlad, 
by '80s Welsh language scene 
pioneers Datblygu, and Dacw 
Hi, written by Rhys for his 
previous band Ffa Coffi Pawb 
and yet definitively Furry. 


Gruff Rhys 
American Interior 
TURNSTILE, 


You say: "Not just a beautiful 
album, Gruff also expanded 
the concept to include a 
great book and a film." 
Sarah Stevens, via e-mail 


As anyone who's witnessed 
the band in a creative setting 
can attest, Super Furry Animals 
functioned on strictly demo- 
cratic lines, with even minor 
decisions requiring collective 
agreement. Maybe this partly 
explains Gruff Rhys' current 
preference for working solo. 
None of his albums will disap- 
point SFA fans, but the best 
entry points are 2011's Hotel 
Shampoo - a miniature juke- 
box refreshment of familiar 
Furry tropes - or this concep- 
tual travelogue based on 18th 
century explorer John Evans, 
a distant relative of Rhys', 

and his obsession with a 
mythical tribe of Welsh- 
speaking native Americans. 
Its blend of cosmic frontier 
epic and downhome whimsy 
is profoundly moving. 


5 
Als eA 


Super Furry 
Animals 
Fuzzy Logic 
CREATION, 
You say: “One of the best 
debut albums ever and still 


sounds fantastic today.” 
Dan Wolff, Twitter 


Although the Furries enjoyed 
recording a debut amid the 
luxury of Rockfield Studios, 
they later admitted to feeling 
uncomfortable in an environ- 
ment far removed from previ- 
ous experience (and possibly 
tainted by association with 
Britpop) despite the continued 
presence of production mentor 
Gorwel Owen. Yet Fuzzy Logic 
offered a fully-formed universe 
without an obvious precedent, 
a psych-pop wonderland 
stuffed with arcane characters 
like Hometown Unicorn's alien 
abductee Franckie Fontaine or 
Welsh drug smuggler Howard 
Marks, with walk-ons for Kevin 
Ayers' wind ensemble Wizards 
Of Twiddly and actor Rhys 
Ifans, who sang in an early SFA 
incarnation. Everything to 
come can be traced back here. 





an 


w/ Ver 


Super Furry 
Animals 


Phantom Power 
EPIC, 


You say: "The Welsh wonders 
have had so many amazing 
albums but Phantom Power 
has the Number 1 SFA song - 
Slow Life." Andrew Wilkie, 
Facebook 


Phantom Power maintained 
Rings Around The World's future- 
facing stance - released as a 
DVD, it had a remix companion, 
Phantom Phorce - while tem- 
pering its predecessor's hyper- 
activity. There's no shortage of 
action, however, with an air of 
latter-day Clash or The Beat in 
the globalist outreach of The 
Undefeated and Valet Parking 
("The Eurozone is my home"), 
while much of the rest 
suggests a Western odyssey 
without a map, be it the 
punkoid Out Of Control calling 
out post-9/11 US aggression 

or the turbo-Canned Heat 
silliness of Golden Retriever. 
The closing Slow Life is peak 
techno-Americana from the 
originators of the form. 





Super Furry 
Animals Rings 
Around The World 


EPIC, 

You say: "Startling in scope 
and ambition, capturing one 
of those times when a band 
can try anything and it works.” 
Andy Horseman, Facebook 


The Furries followed their self- 
released unadorned Welsh- 
language album by signing to 
a major and making a multi- 
layered epic in 5.1 Surround 
Sound with accompanying 
films for each track. There was 
an actual kitchen sink on Fuzzy 
Logic, but Rings Around The 
World is Super Furry Animals" 
maximalist masterpiece, their 
electronica roots pulsing 
through symphonic pop gran- 
diosity worthy of Queen. The 
material was suitably stellar: a 
title track upholding the prem- 
ise that ELO were the band The 
Beatles could have been; 
Juxtapozed With U's plastic-soul 
slink; best of all, Receptacle For 
The Respectable, a demented 
four-part song suite featuring 
Paul McCartney eating a carrot. 


Super Furry 
Animals Dark 
Days/Light Years 


ROUGH TRADE, 

You say: "Their last album to 
date is easily their best post- 
Creation LP. Inaugural Trams 
shows they can write a great 
song about literally any- 
thing, The Very Best Of Neil 
Diamond insanely catchy." 
Eddie Robson, via e-mail 





If Dark Days/Light Years really is 
the final Super Furry Animals 
LP, it represents both a riotous 
return to form and a worthy 
adieu. From opener Crazy 
Naked Girls' nu-P-Funk freak- 
ery to Inaugural Trams - effec- 
tively Autobahn updated for 
MittelEuropean urban transit 
systems with a Deutsche rap 
from Franz Ferdinand's Nick 
McCarthy - through the Isleys 
punch of Bunf's White Socks/ 
Flip Flops, this was a band re- 
energised by the power of 
groove. Emblematic of a canon 
defined by absurdist wisdom, 
only SFA could deliver a song 
called The Very Best Of Neil 
Diamond that lives up to its title. 


SUPER FURRY 
ANIMALS 


ZOOM! THE BEST) OF 


SUPER|FURRY, 


Super Furry 

Animals 
Zoom! The Best Of 
1995-2016 


BMG, 


You say: “The best band in 
the world, bar none! Every 
album is an absolute winner! 
I'm going with The Best Of..." 
Stephen Parry, Facebook 


While SFA's grand conceptual 
visions suit the LP format, their 
ever-twitchy pop antennae also 
make for a great singles band, 
a fact acknowledged early оп 
with 1998's Out Spaced, which 
cherry-picked the Ankst EPs, 
Creation B-sides and legendary 
Steely Dan-sampling epic set- 
closer The Man Don't Give A 
Fuck. With 37 tracks, Zoom! is a 
comprehensive taster and an 
essential companion-piece, 
including every single, some 
reasonably deep cuts, the 
standouts from 2007's spotty 
Hey! Venus, and Bing Bong, the 
last SFA release to date - a 
maverick anthem for the Wales 
football team's 2016 European 
Championship campaign. 





Super Furry Animals Radiator 
CREATION, 


You say: "Their masterpiece... Pop, prog, techno, folk, 

Krautrock, and usually during one song. I'm not one for ‘funny’ 
lyrics but the line ‘Marie Curie was Polish born but French bred. 
Ha! French Bread!’ always raises a smile." Gary Page, Facebook 


Recorded at Gorwel Owen's tiny home studio in Anglesey, Radiator 
is significant on several levels. The first SFA album to feature the 
monsterist art of Pete Fowler, it's also the first with full creative 
input from keyboardist Cian Ciaran. His Fender Rhodes is all over a 
set broadly dividing into a manic first half (including Hermann 
Loves Pauline's lockstep pop frenzy) and a melancholic second, 
concluding with the remarkable Mountain People, a country rock 
lament for indigenous Welsh culture, with lyrics inspired by 
Harold Pinter's play Mountain Language, that eventually degrades 
into atonal techno. In 2017, on its 20th anniversary reissue, Guto 


Pryce declared Radiator, "a graphic 


, animated, fantastical record. 


We were creating our world instead of the world being thrust 


upon us." In the entire Furry-verse, 


there is no finer place to visit. 








Super Furry 
Animals 


Guerrilla 

CREATION, 

You say: "Guerrilla is a band 
embracing their identify 
before a succession of 
momentum-sapping 
hiatuses." Phil Lewis via 
mojo4music.com 


With its sampler rampages and 
sonic density, Guerrilla proved 
the value of recording at hi- 
spec Real World: a sprawl of 
yob-pop (The Teacher; Do Or 
Die), instrumental miniatures 
(The Sound Of Life Today) and 
lachrymose sing-alongs (The 
Turning Tide; Fire In My Heart), 
simultaneously pitching at 
pop disposability and thematic 
cohesion. The chattering bleep 
mesh of Wherever | Lay My 
Phone (That’s My Home) is a 
song that's more prescient by 
the day, while Chewing 
Chewing Gum is surrealist SFA 
wisdom at its most immacu- 
lately stoned. Collapso-calypso 
gem Northern Lites remains 
their highest charting single — 
unlucky Number 11. 


NOW DIG THIS 


Recently-released Seeking 
New Gods is the seventh 
Gruff Rhys album, yet all 

his erstwhile bandmates 
enjoy extracurricular 
activity too. Cian Ciaran has 
four albums under his own 
name, and together with 
Dafydd leuan has composed 
several TV soundtracks, 
winning a BAFTA Cymru 
award in 2011. leuan is a 
member of The Peth, 
fronted by former SFA 
singer Rhys Ifans and 
including Guto Pryce, and 
has also released two LPs 

in The Earth, featuring 
Catatonia guitarist Mark 
Roberts. Pryce is one half 
of Gulp, alongside his partner 
Lindsay Leven, the couple 
releasing two albums of 
cinematic dreampop. 
Huw Bunford, meanwhile, 
was in Pale Blue Dots and 
has composed music for 
films. In 2020, SFA sans 
Gruff released the debut 
Das Koolies single, It's All 
About The Dolphins. 














ALL GOOD WISHES 








MOJO 101 


You gotta let me 
know: Ellen Foley 
with Micky Jones. 


@Adrian Boot/urbanimage.tv 





Flying colours 


Ellen Foley 
Spirit Of St. Louis 


CLEVELAND INTERNATIONAL/EPIC, 1981 


BORN IN Missouri but toughened up in New 
York's rock and theatre scenes, Ellen Foley was 
already a familiar voice in 1981. She'd duetted 
with Meat Loaf on Paradise By The Dashboard 
Light on Bat Out Of Hell in 1977; thereafter, 
Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson produced 
1979's solo debut Nightout, promoted to UK 
viewers with a subversive performance of The 
Rolling Stones' Stupid Girl, in the company of 
musclemen and swimsuit models, on Kenny 
Everett's TV show. But in February 1980, 
Foley had a fateful meeting with Mick Jones at 
London's Venue. Romine! bloomed, se tting off 
achain of events that led to The Clash backing 
her on, and the Jones/Joe Strummer team 
writing for, her follow-up Spirit Of St. Louis. 

*[Mick and I] lived in New York and 
London to split up the time," recalls Foley 
today. “It was time for me to make a record, 
and he wanted to make a record with me, and 
he brought the band in. They didn't seem to 
object and it came about sort of naturally." 

Recording took place in August 1980 at 
Wessex Studios, where The Clash were 
completing their triple-LP Sandinista! Foley 
duetted with Jones on that record's 45 
Hitsville UK, and recalls a porous approach 
to recording the two albums. 

"It was a pretty long process," she says. 
"But they were very organised, and it was a 
nice atmosphere. Midk, Paul and Topper did 
all the basic tracks and then everyone else 
[various Blockheads and Strummer's fiddling 
pal Tymon Dogg] came in. It was very organic 
and improvisational. Joe wasn’t actually 
involved in the record, but he was around, and 
we talked. He was very sensitive, and 


102 MOJO 


Tracks: The 
Shuttered Palace / 


Waste Of Time / The 
eath Of The 
sychoanalyst Of 
Salvador Dali / 
M.P.H. / My 
egionnaire / 
Theatre Of Cruelty / 
How Glad | ለጠ / 
hases Of Travel / 
Game Of A Man / 
ndestructible / In 
The Killing Hour 
Personnel: Ellen 
oley (vcls), Mick 
Jones (үсі5, gtr), Joe 
Strummer, John 
Turnbull (gtrs), Paul 
Simonon, Norman 
Watt-Roy (bs), 
Topper Headon 
drms), Mickey 
Gallagher (keybds), 
ауеу Payne (sax), 





Producer: Mick 
ones with Bill Price 
engineer, mixing), 
Jeremy Green 
assistant engineer) 
Released: March 
981 

Recorded: Wessex 
Studios, north 
ondon 

Chart peak: 57 
UK), 152 (US) 
Current 
availability: 
emon/Cherry Red 
CD (with Nightout) 


respectful. I think Joe was 
probably a feminist. Because 
I thought he was so brilliant, 








I'd go along with what he was 
8 E 


orchlight / Beautiful 


Tymon Dogg (violin). 


are between any songwriting marriage. 
A real grounding force on my record, 
and Sandinista!, was Bill Price, the 
engineer and, really, the producer. 

He was the calm head." 

Ofthe other six titles, a charged cover 
of Edith Piaf favourite My Legionnaire 
gives a novel twist to The Clash's combat 
obsessions, though Foley is less admiring 
of songs written by Tymon Dogg, noting, 

“I didn't find him to bea gr ros part of the 
experience." (Of his Game Of A Man she 
pithily observes, *WTF?") 

She admits to other ambivalences about 
the album, saying, “I’m not sure that I feel 
powerful within it. I was intimidated. I 
thought I was mature. I'd done theatre and 
Broadway and television and the Meat Loaf 
thing, being powerful for a young girl, and 
then maybe it fell apart a little bit. Things 
are very ‘madame,’ as they say in fashion, 
when they should be ver y *Fuck You! I was 
abitout of my element." 

With a hometown-referenci ing title, 
after the monoplane piloted by C 'harles 
Lindbergh for the first tr ansatlantic flight, 
the album was released in March 198 Г, қ 
Peaking at UK Number 57, and a modest 
hit in the Netherlands, it reached 152, for 
two weeks, in the US. “We set out to make 
a modern cabaret record," 





she says now. 





writing. He created incredible 
stories for me to tell. I can't see him doinga 
lot of these songs." 

While the guitar-bass-drums bedrock of 
the record is recognisably The Clash, the six 
Strummer/Jones originals reveal different 
aspects of the mothership, channelling an idea 
of the female anima in songs which recall such 
tender Clash songs as Midnight To Stevens, 
Death Is A Star or Train In Vain. With Foley's 
barnstorming rock voice tempered into a 
croon, opener The Shuttered Palace is a lilting 
Hellenic ballad sung by a courtesan — Clash 
consigliere Kosmo Vi inyl did Greek dancing on 
the vi ide зо — while Foley brings her theatric al 
experience to the fantastic al Тһе Death Of 
The Psychoanalyst Of Salvador Dali, where 
images of Gene Vincent's rusted cufflinks and 
policemen *begging for soup" emblemise 
surrealist bre оно n. Foley also praises 
tranquillised housewife vignette Theatre 
Of Cruelty, petroleum roc ke ər M.PH. and 
execution bolero In The Killing Hour, but 

says, “my favourite song on fhe: album is 
Torchlight. Mick and 
I were singing togethe r. It’s 
about people who are lovers 
— much as hate that I word — 
and it was about a real 
resilience. It had a great 
uptempo, positive feel, it's 
romantic [like] Train In Vain 
was incredibly romantic... . 
he had it in him." 

She recalls, affectionately, 
that Jones was unused to 
writing for anyone other than 
Strummer, and requests for a 
different key were met with 
“Whaddya | mean/?!’... there 
were always things between 
Joe and Mick, the way there 





“But it was too weird. If it had been for my 
fourth album, it would have been great.” 

Around this time Foley was also filmed 
alongside The Clash playing “street scum” 
in Martin Scorsese’s The King Of Comedy. 
“We were standing in front of [legendary 
Times Square store] Colony Records,” she 
laughs. “We spent the day yelling at Robert 
De Niro. That was fun!” She would also 
appear on Clash farewell Combat Rock in 
1982, but split with Jones in the summer 
of that year. Is The Clash’s Should I Stay Or 
Should I Go about her, as legend claims? 
“I don’t know,” “Full stop!” 

Foley’s later credits included Joe Jackson’s 
Body. And Soul, Jim Steinman's Pandora's Box 


she says. 


project and doing the vocal arrangement for 
Bonnie Tyler's Holding Out For A Hero. 
On-screen, she appeared in Tootsie, Fatal 
Attraction, Married To The Mob and 
numerous US TV shows. Now, new LP 
Fighting Words gets back to her rock’n’roll 
roots: on seize-the-day lead track I’m Just 
Happy To Be Here she duets with Karla 
DeVito, who lip- sync'd 
Foley's powe erhouse vocals 
on the Paradise By The 
Dashboard Light’ video. 
Ultimately, she’s at peace 
with Spirit of. St. Louis. “It’s 
such a beautiful sounding 
record,” she says. “Incredible 
musically, the songs, the 
instrumentation and the risks 
that were taken. There’s a real 
maturity to it. You know what? 
It was a fabulous thing to do, 
and I really wish people would 
hear it again.” 





Tan Harrison 





Fighting Words is out on August 6 


on Urban Noise. 


Onpg 





SISTERS 
WITH 


TRANSISTORS 


ез сә 2 ምጋ 


Sisters With 
Transistors 
ЖЖЖЖ 


Dir: Lisa Rovner 
MODERN FILMS. C/ST 


A film celebrating the 
unsung heroines of 
electronic music. 


"Composers were traditionally 
old, dead white men - but 
electronic music gave you the 
freedom to define any world 
you wanted,” says Laurie 
Spiegel, the New York 
composer whose 1986 Music 
Mouse instrument was one of 
the earliest forms of music 
software. Along with artists 
like Delia Derbyshire in the 
BBC Radiophonic Workshop, 
Pauline Oliveros at the 1960s 
San Francisco Tape Music 
Centre, and Éliane Radigue, 
who studied musique concréte 
with Pierre Schaeffer before 
creating her own beautiful 
analogue synth-scapes, 
Spiegel was a vital part of the 
evolution of electronic music. 
This film, narrated by Laurie 
Anderson with rare archive 
footage, in-depth interviews 
and experimental sonic 
textures, is like an extended 
meditation on those pioneers. 
One of the most memorable 
scenes features Daphne Oram 
painting on filmstrip and 
coming up with a prototype 
for MIDI. One to watch again 
and again. 

Lucy O'Brien 


Last Man 
Standing 
ЖЖЖЖ 

Dir: Nick Broomfield 


DOGWOOOF. C/ST 


Sequel to 2002's Biggie & 
Tupac sets its sights on Death 
Row mogul Suge Knight. 


A more stringent 
dig into the 
tangled web that 
р claimed the lives 
of two of hip- 
hop's most 
mesmeric stars, 
Last Man Standing dissects 
the doomed brotherhood 
between 2Pac and Suge 
Knight with fearless scrutiny. 
A grim portrait of the 
intimidating Knight - a label 
executive in name alone – 

it shows how Death Row's 
devastating trail of gang 
violence ("We'd whup your ass 
with no questions asked," says 
an enabler) was compounded 





LAST MAN 
STANDING 


by the collusion of a network 
of bent LAPD officers. Tongues 
freed by Knight's waning hold 
and lengthy incarceration, 
the insider revelations quickly 
pile up, offering a highly 
compelling argument for 
murders that remain officially 
unsolved. Tight, concise and 
mercifully free of the bungles 
and dead ends that marred its 
predecessor, it’s gripping 
viewing and one of 
Broomfield’s best. 

Andy Cowan 


Sam Cooke: 
Legend 
ЖЖЖЖ 

Dir: Mary Wharton 


ABKCO. DV 


Out of print since 2003, now 
massively expanded screen 
time, plus 3,000-word note. 


E ЖЕРИ When he 
ፖ1 ሔር transitioned 
% ie ul М from gospel 

VETE sensation to 

3 international 

pop star, Sam 
Cooke never lost 
the holy spirit and thus helped 
create soul music. Written by 
his biographer Peter Guralnick, 
this documentary examines 
his singularity: matinee looks, 
deep intelligence, songwriting 
chops, business savvy and that 
gritty yet silken voice. From 
church to chitlin' circuit, 
supper clubs to concert halls, 
he was haunted by tragedies 
and segregation, but remained 
determined. (He insisted on 
integrated audiences and 
demanded respect from law 
enforcement - and got it.) 
After influencing '60s rockers, 
he was influenced by them, 
culminating in the Dylan- 
inspired A Change Is Gonna 
Come. This is a no-frills tribute: 
talking heads, narration, 
footage, music. Lloyd Price, 
Bobby Womack, Andrew Loog 
Oldham and a charming, 
very funny Aretha Franklin 
all talk Sam and, along with 
charismatic performances and 
classic songs, carry the story 
until its devastating end with 
his shooting in 1964. 
Michael Simmons 


"assi 





Summer Of Soul 
XX x 

Dir: Ahmir 'Questlove' 
Thompson 

SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES. С 


Footage of 1969's Harlem 
Cultural Festival aired at last 
- it's been worth the wait. 
መመመ Opening with 

ግ Stevie Wonder's 
thunderous Drum 
Solo is a sign that 
what follows will 
be transcendent. 
LSS Shot at 1969's 
Harlem Cultural Festival — 
often called "the Black 
Woodstock" and here subtitled 
“Ог, When The Revolution 
Could Not Be Televised” – 

this masterpiece is the urban 
equivalent of that other 1960s 
landmark. In his directorial 





debut, musician Questlove has 
created an unequalled ode to 
the wildly eclectic black music 
ofthe era. His editing is brisk, 
but subtly nuanced. To see 
David Ruffin, Gladys Knight 
& The Pips (soul), Sly & The 
Family Stone (funk), B.B. King 
(blues), The Staple Singers 
(gospel), Abbey Lincoln/Max 
Roach (jazz) and more in their 
prime is a joy. Other highlights 
are Mavis Staples and Mahalia 
Jackson duetting and the 
regal, radiant Nina Simone on 
her A-game. That this footage 
could get no buyers for a 
half-century is maddening. 
Attendees are shown while 
watching the footage now, 
weeping for joy and perhaps 
a dream deferred. 

Michael Simmons 


Dale Ba 


All On B 





Dale Barclay: 
All On Black 
ЖЖЖ 

Dir: Billy Hill 

BBC IPLAYER. 


Profile of the Amazing 
Snakeheads frontman who 
died of brain cancer in 2018. 


As Fat White Family's Lias 
Saoudi and Franz Ferdinand's 
Alex Kapranos testify here, 
Glasgow's Dale Barclay 
brought genuine menace to 


The composed 

Daphne Oram, an 
innovative sister 
withy transistors. 


the Amazing Snakeheads, 
his clench-jawed charisma 
earmarking them for great, 
outsider rock'n'roll things circa 
their 2014 Domino debut, 
Amphetamine Ballads. Barclay 
had hoped to wear a cape for 
a crucial Jools Holland's 
Later... slot, but that didn't 
happen thanks to the original 
Snakehead trio's messy 
implosion, and it was after 
moving to East Berlin and 
forming new gang And Yet It 
Moves that he began having 
seizures. Hill's touching film 
፦ "You think I'm young? You've 
not met the three-year-old 
that's got it," Barclay told wife/ 
collaborator Laura when 
diagnosed with a grade 4 
glioblastoma - cedes energy 
to a clichéd voiceover, but 
its subject's courage and 
magnetism shine throughout. 
"Everything should end in a 
hail of bullets," Barclay joked 
pre-illness, screenwriting his 
grand finale. Sadly prophetic. 
He died aged just 32. 

James McNair 


What Drives Us 
ЖЖЖЖ 
Dir: Dave Grohl 


AMAZON PRIME VIDEO. 


The Foo Fighters corral rock 
royalty to deliver a love 
letter to life on the road. 


It wouldn't be a mistake to 
interpret this Dave Grohl- 
directed documentary's title 
literally. Across 90 minutes, the 











Foo Fighters talisman is joined 
by an impressive array of 
guests - including U2's The 
Edge, St. Vincent and AC/DC's 
Brian Johnson - to reflect on 
their formative years touring in 
vans, before limos and jets. 
Covering everything from the 
Tetris-like logistics of packing 
to the ethics of tooting in 
confined spaces ("If you fart, 
admit it," Ringo Starr decrees), 
there's an intoxicating blend 
of passion and humour 
throughout. What truly 
elevates it, however, is how 
Grohl uses such stories to also 
interrogate the nature of 
artistic ambition and the 
obstacles it must navigate, 
with Dead Kennedys drummer 
DH Peligro's harrowing battle 
with addiction standing out 
as particularly raw and 
poignant. It's but one example 
of how this (ahem) van-ity 
project becomes a vehicle 
for something much 
more powerful. 

George Garner 







Caught by the fuzz 


4 The Bunr 
spirit guardian € | 
By Keith Cameron. 


-cho An 











Bunnyman 
ЖЖЖЖ 
Will Sergeant 


CONSTABLE. 


VERY GREAT band needs a conscience, 

an arbiter for what is or isn't permissible 

along the way. In Echo And The 
Bunnymen, that role fell to Will Ser geant, 
architect of elemental rock guitar and 
self-confessed natural cynic. It was Sergeant 
who walked out of a band meeting disgusted 
that Dave Balfe had added keyboards to 
The Cutter, Sergeant who curtly dismissed 
prospective producer Steve Lillyw hite, and 
Sergeant who even as he sent copies of the 
band? s debut single to fans worried that the 
recipients might | be unworthy. “I want to vet 
every record sale,” he says, “like the RSPCA 
check out if a puppy is going to a good home." 

Only the last of these episodes appears in 

this memoir. Bunnyman ends with the band 
about to sign with Warners, having just invited 
Pete De Freitas to replace Sergeant's Mini 
Pops Junior drum machine. Ian McCulloch 
doesn't appear until page 199. Anyone 
expecting a rabbit's-mouth account of the 


Paul Slattery 


mystical trek from post-punk scuzz to Royal 


104 MOJO 


Albert Hall grandeur, via tours mapped on ley 
lines and a four-album run of incomparable 
brilliance, then onward through split, tragedy 
and reunion, to today's uneasy marriage 
of convenience between Sergeant and 
McCulloch, will be disappointed. Until they 
read the book, that is. For with his dry, droll, 
vivid storytelling, Will Sergeant makes ve ry 
clear the factors that shapec əd him, and 
therefore his band, into such a unique force. 
When Echo And The Bunnymen released 
their debut single in May 1979, their 
21-year-old guitarist was a commis chef at 
Binns, a Liv erpool department store whose 
cottage pie recipe was never going to win a 
Michelin star. Sergeant details Binns’ kitchen 
secrets with the same grim relish he applies 
to a childhood sc жей | by acne and a dismal, 
sometimes violent, home life on a council 
estate in Melling, a Lancashire village on 
Liverpool's northern edge. At 13, his mother 
walks out, shortly after fiis elder siblings, 
leaving Will alone with his misanthr opic father 
(*a very complicated chap," he 
says, charitably). School is an 


archetypal low- -prospect г OF ly at 


secondary modern, where А 
music provides blessed respite. т 
Ina final year English lesson, al 
he plays his class a Velvet 
Underground album, only to 
be pelted with missiles when 
Venus In Furs comes on, then 
is reproached by his teacher, 





The crucial three: 

Will Sergeant (far left) 
with fellow Bunnymen 
lan McCulloch (centre) 
and Les Pattinson, { 
Liverpool, 1979. 


—X AR 











BUNNYMAN 





| e Will Sergeant 
saw his first gig on 
May 13, 1972, at 
Liverpool Stadium. 
Along with mates 
Dave and Steve 
Mazenko and 
Steve's girlfriend 
Pauline ("head to 
toe in cheesecloth 
and denim"), they 
see Status Quo 
supporting Slade. 
Other key Stadium 
gigs include 

Dr Feelgood and 
Sensational Alex 
Harvey Band. 

ወ The Bunnymen’s 
music press debut 
was an early 1979 
Sounds writers" 
chart, where Andy 
Courtney cited a 
"private tape" song 
called World Shut 
Your Mouth. The 





Mr Corcoran, for cribbing 
8 


m. we ы / Виппутеп һай по 
the sleevenotes. ( I Sud oec Астан 
thought it sounded much recorded no such 


too eloquent for you. 
See me later.") 

Only at Eric's, the fetid 
basement punk club on 
Liverpool's Mathew 
Street, does Sergeant truly 
find a refuge, accepted by 
fellow outsiders including 
friends Paul Simpson amd 
Les Pattinson, plus a 
coterie of future legends: 
Holly Johnson, Jayr ne 
Casey, Pete Burns, Julian 
Cope, and ‘Macul’, who 
he'll invite to Melling to 
*mess about with guitars". 


tape. Years later, 
Julian Cope used 
thetitleforasong 
of his own. 

e Arriving for a gig 
in Leeds to find a 
Mini blocking the 
club's load-in 
entrance, the 
Bunnymen bounce 
the car down the 
street. They later 
discover it belongs 
to Annie Lennox, 
lead singer of gig 
headliners The 
Tourists. “Annie 
Lennox in full 
kill-the-Sassenachs 
mode is best 
avoided,” says Will. 














Sergeant sharply evokes 
the neurotic importance of music and clothes, 
his relief at seeing light after so much darkness 
especially palpable i in the aftermath of his new 
band’s first gig: “I am no longer just the kid 
that looks like a secret member of the 
Ramones... Willy Ramone, the spotty 

one they keep in the attic м: CBGBs." 

Having tee'd it up, it would 
be perverse for Will Sergeant 
not to write a sequel. Yet his 
favourite band are San 
Francisco mysterions The 
Residents, who taught him 
"The legend is often better 
than reality." Ending the story 
where most people might 
expect it to begin would be a 
very Bunnyman thing to do. 


Getty 


ewar {allan in Love 


Pete Shelley 








Ever Fallen In 
Love: The Lost 
Buzzcocks Tapes 
kkk 

Pete Shelley with 
Louie Shelley 


OCTOPUS, £20 


Song-by-song insights into 
the Buzzcocks’ late '70s 
albums, plus much more. 


Plans for Buzzcocks frontman 
Pete Shelley to publish a 
memoir would come to 
nothing - until, following the 
singer's untimely death in 
2018, super-fan Louie (no 
relation) began shaping the 
numerous taped conversations 
she'd had with him into this 
fascinating tome. An interview 
here with Pete's cousin reveals 
the Buzzcock's interest in 
cosmology and 'big questions' 
dated back to his Lancashire 
schooldays. Yet the lasting 
impression from Shelley's own 
analysis of his songs is not of 
the depth of meaning behind 
them, but the amount of old- 
fashioned craft - and off-beat 
humour - that fed into them. 
The bleak, existentialist gem 
Something's Gone Wrong 
Again, for example, began life 
as a "jokey" creation, part- 
inspired by Northern comedian 
Hylda Baker's routine about a 
faulty watch and, yes, ‘Cocks’ 
first frontman Howard Devoto 
missing a bus. Ultimately, the 
strange genius of Shelley 
remains comfortingly 
shrouded in mystery. 

Pat Gilbert 





Shiny And New 
ЖЖЖЖ 


Dylan Jones 
WHITE RABBIT. £20 


Essays on 10 singles "of pop 
genius that defined the '80s". 


СО editor Dylan 
Jones has already 
3:1 „lı ı explored the 
> ІЛІ 1980s in two 
previous books 
centred on Live 
Aid and the new 
romantics, but his fascination 
forthe era clearly remains 
undiminished and here he 
further sets out to harness the 
musical and cultural ambitions 
ofthe decade. Rapper's 
Delight and Fight The Power 
bookend the tales of Ghost 
Town, Blue Monday and 
Theme From S'Express, as the 
` action generally flits between 
London and New York. Jones 


manages to inject interesting 
analysis into oft familiar stories 
- viewing The Smiths circa 
Bigmouth Strikes Again as "the 
antithesis of the decade, which 
meant they became forever 
associated with it". Best 
though are his auto- 
biographical narratives — 
experiencing the Brixton riots; 
being razored by thugs in 
Islington in '81 while dressed 
like a cut-price Martin Fry — 
and, overall, it's a wholly 
successful endeavour carried 
along by his waves of 
infectious enthusiasm. 

Tom Doyle 


ዘዘዘዘዘዘዘዘ!! 
Permanent 
Damage: 
Memoirs Of An 
Outrageous Girl 
ЖЖЖЖ 


Mercy Fontenot with 
Lyndsey Parker 


RARE BIRD. £1 


Memoir from Miss Mercy of 
Zappa's GTOs, written just 
before her death in 2020. 


Great writing; wild 
stories, but very 
dark. None of the 
sweetness of fellow 
GTO/best friend 
Pamela Des Barres' 
I'm With The Band. 
But Miss Pamela loved sex and 
rock'n'roll, while Miss Mercy 
loved drugs. Leaving home for 
San Francisco in the 605, aged 
15, she was on acid when she 
overheard Charles Manson talk 
about a "race war". She was 
with Janis's heroin dealer on 
the day that Joplin died. The 
(pervy) night she spent with 
Chuck Berry, she was so high 
she didn't know if they'd had 
sex; they did. Moving to Los 
Angeles, she encountered 
many of the greats of rock, 
soul and R&B. She was married 
for a while to Shuggie Otis 
and they had a son. Her 
second husband, a fellow 
crackhead, broke every bone 
in her face. She details other 
beatings from other men and 
a slew of rapes. But through 
all of it Mercy emerged 
undaunted. “We were one 
of the first female groups to 
break through the barriers,” 
she says. “We hung with rock 
stars on their turf, and it was 
our turf too.” 
Sylvie Simmons 





ИШШШШШШ 
Babble Оп 
An' Ting 
ЖЖЖЖ 

Kris Needs with 
Alex Paterson 
OMNIBUS. £ 


Inside-track saga of The Orb, 
'90s ambient-house giants. 


Needs, later of this parish but 
then editing ZigZag, first 
encountered Paterson circa 
1980 as Killing Joke's drum 
roadie, and their paths 
frequently intertwined over 
the ensuing 40 years, from 
squats shared with proto-Orb 
sidekick Youth, through a 





shared passion for early 
electro, to shadowy renown 
as punk-inspired dance 
mavericks. A distant cousin of 
snooker's Ronnie O'Sullivan, 
'Dr' Alex had a rough 
childhood: after losing his 
father aged three, his mum 
packed him off to boarding 
school where bullying was 
institutional. There, he 
shielded Youth, two years his 
junior, and the duo's anger- 
fuelled passage through 
Killing Joke (Paterson voiced 
Bodies in gig encores), NYC 
electro fanaticism and the 
incestuous KLF-Orb crowd's 
unhinged first steps is 
meticulously narrated. 
Success with Adventures 
Beyond The Ultraworld and 
Primal Scream's Higher Than 
The Sun, both in 1991, brought 
only fleeting joy as dodgy 
management and label 
pressures snuffed Paterson's 
creative juju. His post- 
millennial re-emergence feels 
like a triumph for a visionary of 
warmth and humility. 

Andrew Perry 


The shiny and 
new New Order 
embrace the 
fascinating '805. 


You Are Beautiful 
And You Are 
Alone 

ЖЖЖЖ 

Jennifer Otter 
Bickerdike 


FABER. £20 


Vivid reframing of Nico's life 
and legacy, from Warhol's 
Factory to Prestwich's pubs. 


Sometimes 
truculent, often 
uncompromising, 
Nico was not an 
easy person to 
know, and Jennifer 
" Otter Bickerdike 
does not shy away from 
exploring the difficult sides to 
her character in this biography. 
But it's also a compassionate 
portrayal of a musician whose 
artistry has often been 
overlooked, a woman who 
channelled horrific childhood 
experiences of war-blasted 
Berlin into a kind of sonic 
poetry. Otter Bickerdike 
captures her La Dolce Vita 
period and the vividness of 
the 19605 Factory scene in 
New York, interviewing 
pivotal figures such as John 
Cale and Danny Fields. But 
most compelling is the 
research into the Manchester 
years, where long after Nico 
had been abandoned by the 
Warhol contingent, she found 
acceptance. Here, the dry 
Mancunian wit and loyalty 

of musicians like Peter Hook, 
and James Young, the piano 
player in her band from 
1981-86, really shines 
through brightly. 








Lucy O'Brien 


FILTER ВОО 


The Chameleon 
Poet: Bob Dylan's 
Search For Self 


ЖЖЖЖ 
John Bauldie 


ROUTE. £20 


Late Dean of Dylanology's 
unpublished gem of lyrical 
crit is off the presses at last. 


John Bauldie 
edited crucial 
Bobzine The 
Telegraph, wrote 
the Grammy- 
nominated 
sleevenote to the 
first Bootleg Series set and 
bossed the subs’ desk at Q 
magazine until 1996, the year 
he tragically passed in the 
helicopter crash that killed 
Chelsea FC vice-chairman and 
fellow Bobcat Matthew 
Harding. Bolton fan Bauldie 
was also an English lecturer 
and his rigour, lightly worn, 
shoots out of every line of this 
pithy exploration of Dylan's 
pre-conversion songs, 
identifying the ways the artist 
Robert Zimmerman and the 
personas of Bob Dylan diverge 
and intersect, while storms 
rage (there are lots of storms in 
Dylan songs) and spectres of 
Rimbaud, Brecht and King Lear 
circle. Bauldie's take feels 
before-its-time (the 
manuscript dates from 1978- 
80), breaking down the walls 
between phases that even 
Dylan fans like to erect, and 
tracing Dylan's consistent 
posing of a question anyone 
can relate to: who the hell am |, 
and why am | doing this? 
Danny Eccleston 


ፈግ 


“. 





REAL GONE 






TUR 
17 4 


Mr Personality 


Lloyd Price, Le 
and S j 
left us on 


OME YEARS before the seismic event 
S that was Little Richard's rock'n'roll 

eruption with Tutti Frutti, music's 
tectonic plates had been shifting down in 
New Orleans. There, the heavy swing and 
vocal strength of 1952's Lawdy Miss Clawdy 
made Lloyd Price's collision of blues and R&B 
astrong early rival to Fats Domino. 

That US R&B Number 1 was the forerunner 

to an extraordinarily varied career, both in 
music and outside. Price, who was born in 


Kenner, Louisiana in 1933, broadened and 
adapted his songwriting throughout the 

'50s to embrace the young white audience 
attracted to rock'n'roll. After Army service, he 
moved from the independent Specialty label 
to ABC Paramount, and struck a rich seam of 
creativity. His 1957 ballad Just Because and 
the following year's definitive arrangement of 
Stagger Lee, the traditional tale of murder he 
set to driving R&B swing, established him as a 
'50s rock star. Stagger Lee was also his biggest 
US pop (a Number 1) and UK hit. That he 
followed murder with the jauntier jilted rock 
of Where Were You (On Our Wedding Day) 
was typical of his wit and versatility. 1959's 
upbeat Personality earned him the nickname 


Lawdy Mr Price: Lloyd, 
a rock'n'roll leader. 


Mr Personality, but he was never above using 
others’ hits to his own ends - 1962's exhorting 
Be A Leaderis little more than The Coasters' 
Yakety Yak with a new lyric - "just bring home 
those As and Bs" a father lectures his children. 

Price certainly took his own advice about 
leading. As the rock'n'roll market waned, he 
had pointed the way for later rock and soul 
stars like Sam Cooke and James Brown by 
broadening his commercial interests, setting 
up several record companies (Double L, 
Turntable), running a night club, launching 
food brands that fed off his fame (the Lawdy 
Miss Clawdy Sweet Potato Cheesecakes) and 
diversifying into real estate, while his nose for 
adealled him to being closely involved with 
boxing promoter Don King in setting up 
Muhammad Ali's Rumble In The Jungle 
heavyweight title fight. He died in Westches- 
ter, New York on May 3. 

Geoff Brown 





106 MOJO 


Al Schmitt 


Every time we re-watch Henry 
Mancini and Johnny Mercer's 
enchanting song Moon River in 
thefilm Breakfast At Tiffany's, we 
hear Al Schmitt's board mastery 
at work. And then there's his 
engineering for Sinatra, Dylan, 


Paul McCartney, Ray Charles, 
Steely Dan, Natalie Cole, Barbra 
Streisand and umpteen others – 
his range was one of his many 
superpowers. He was also a 
producer, overseeing the 
Jefferson Airplane's acid-dropped 
1967 classic After Bathing At 
Baxter's. The Brooklyn native was 
mentored at his uncle's studio 
and later befriended by musician/ 
recording visionary Les Paul, 


eventually winning more 
Grammysthan any other engineer 
or producer. Raised in the era 
before multitracks, Schmitt knew 
how to place microphones, which 
became a lost art when fixing-it- 
in-the-mix arrived. “As much as 
soundis important to me as an 
engineer," he once noted, "it is 
the performance and the feel 
that sell the record." 

Michael Simmons 





© 
ህ 
e 
R 
б 
S 
Ф 
се 
g 
5 
> 
5 
т 
g 
o 
© 


Anita Lane 


Most likely the ‘Her’ in the title of 
Nick Cave's solo album debut From 
Her To Eternity, Anita Lane was briefly 
a Bad Seed and an occasional 
lyricist for both The Birthday Party 
and solo Cave. She also recorded 
two dramatic and sensual solo 
albums, Dirty Pearl (1993) and Sex 
O'Clock (2001). "Everyone wanted 
to work with her but it was like 
trying to trap lightning in a bottle," 
Cave wrote in tribute to his former 
paramour and collaborator. 

Lane first met Cave through her 
former classmate Rowland S. 
Howard, guitarist in Melbourne 
post-punk maniacs The Boys Next 
Door. Whilst still in herteens, Lane 
co-authored A Dead Song, Dead 
Joe and Kiss Me Black with Cave for 
the group, who were renamed The 
Birthday Party in 1980. "She wasthe 
smartest and most talented of all of 
us, by far,” the singer recalled. 

When Cave went solo, Lane 
contributed keyboards, backing 
vocals and occasional lead vocals 
to his nascent Bad Seeds. Though 
she wasn't an official member after 
the pair splitin 1983, she remained 
part ofthe inner circle, writing the 
lyricsto Stranger Than Kindness 
(about Cave, he says) on his fourth 
album Your Funeral... My Trial and 
adding purring vocals to his ninth 
album Murder Ballads. 

Lane subsequently carved out 
a role asa Jane Birkin-styled foil 
for numerous class acts, including 








ex-Bad Seed Barry Adamson, Kid 
Congo Powers, Einstürzende 
Neubauten and, most notably, Bad 
Seed Mick Harvey's Gainsbourg 
tributes Intoxicated Man and Pink 
Elephants. Driven by, in Cave's 
words, "a rampant, unstable, fatal 
energy that would follow her all her 
life", after 2001's barbed pop album 
Sex O'Clock Lane devoted herself to 
motherhood and a wanderlust that 
took her from Berlin to Morocco to 
Sicily and back to Australia. “I kind 
of wanted to glorify insecurity,” 
she once said, “rather than being 
confident and successful.” 

Martin Aston 


Pervis Staples 


As the only other 
man in The Staples 
Singers, Pervis 
Staples was often 
inthe shadow of 
the soul-gospel 
group's father/ 
founder Roebuck 
'Pops' Staples. Yet, until he left after 
1968's Soul Folk In Action, he was 
integral to the powerful, righteous 
vocal mix. Born on November 18, 
1935 in Drew, Mississippi, he moved 
with the family to Chicago where 
Popstutored them in gospel 
harmony, prioritising the range of 
youngest child Mavis, whose husky 
depth many later mistook for 
Pervis, a fact the Staples played on. 
Popular on the gospel circuit, they 
signed to Vee-Jay in the '50s, 





Anita Lane: 
"the smartest 
by far". 





Franco Battiato: 
finding the dawn 
within nightfall. 


| 


Uncloudy Day earning a first hit. 
After other gospel standards, like 
Will The Circle Be Unbroken?, Pervis 
persuaded his father to broaden 
the group’s repertoire with folk 
rock covers as they moved to Epic, 
Dylan's A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall 
among them. Even greater success 
followed when they signed to Stax, 
but Pervis soon left the goup. He 
managed another gospel-based 
group of sisters, the Hutchinson 
Sunbeams, as they became The 
Emotions, гап a club, married and 
had six children, and was there 
when the Staples were inducted 
into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 
in 1999. He died on May 6. 

Geoff Brown 


Franco Battiato 


Though it’s perhaps no surprise 
that the first Italian to have a 
million-selling album (La Voce Del 
Padrone, in 1981) was a prog-rocker, 
Franco Battiato was always so 
much more, writing soundtracks, 
operas, ballets, electronica and 
even a Eurovision entry. He looked 
as outlandish as Ziggy at the height 
of glam, wrote dense, often 
unfathomable lyrics that suggest- 
ed he devoured the most esoteric 
books, and consistently produced 
music that was uncompromisingly 
Italian, way-out and wildly popular. 
By 1988, and the release of 
Fisiognomica, arguably his finest 
collection, it was the Sicilian, not 
Morricone, who Italians called II 
Maestro. Catching the mood of all 














Italy, in tribute the Vatican's cultural 
council (which had been outraged 
by the sleeve of his debut LP, 
Foetus, in 1971) simply quoted the 
man himself: "How hard itis to find 
the dawn within nightfall." 

David Hutcheon 


Roger Hawkins 


In the mid-to-late 
'60s, when 
outstanding soul 
records on the 
Atlantic and Stax 
labels were spilling 
; A out of Muscle 

/ Shoals’ Fame 
Studios on a daily basis, Roger 
Hawkins was at their beating heart, 
setting a supple rhythm with a 
funky backbeat decorated with 
simple yet perfect fills. As part of 
the Swampers rhythm section, 
Hawkins was a key constituent on 
classics by Aretha Franklin, Wilson 
Pickett, Percy Sledge, Etta James, 
Solomon Burke, The Staple Singers 
and numerous others. In 1969, the 
rhythm section set up their own 
studio in Sheffield, Alabama, where 
Hawkins went on to drum with 
Cher - whose album 3614 Jackson 
Highway commemorated the 
studio's address – Ry Cooder, Linda 
Ronstadt, Bobby Womack, Willie 
Nelson and many more. His work 
was also embraced by British 
singers, playing with Steve 
Winwood on Traffic's Shoot Out At 
The Fantasy Factory, then touring 
with them, drumming on Rod 
Stewart's Atlantic Crossing, plus 
sessions in other genres. 

Hawkins was born in Mishawaka, 
Indiana, but eventually settled in 
Muscle Shoals after forming that 
historic, life-long partnership with 
David Hood (bass), Jimmy Johnson 
(guitar) and Barry Beckett 
(keyboards). 

Geoff Brown 


MOJO 107 


BJ Thomas: 
alittle rain 
fell into 
his life. 


BJ Thomas 


Born in Hugo, Oklahoma, Billy Joe 


Cry. Having gone solo, 1968's 
Hooked On A Feeling went Top 5, 
then Bacharach & David's Raindrops 
Keep Fallin' On My Head, featured 
in the 1969 film Butch Cassidy And 
The Sundance Kid, gave him the first 
oftwo Number 1s. Thomas's soulful 


the 70s, though hectic 

touring led to a near 

fatal alcohol and 

drugs dependency. 

"Life was a struggle," 

he told me in 2011. "But 

music saved me." 

Cleaning up, 1977's gospel 

album Home Where! Belong 

gave him the first of five Grammys. 

In 1985 he provided the theme to 

US sitcom Growing Pains, and 

performed until his death from 

complications from lung cancer, his 

last charting album being 20135 

acoustic The Living Room Sessions. 
Lois Wilson 


Curtis Fuller 


tromboneasa viable 
solo instrument in jazz 
from the late 1950s. 
Best remembered for 
his indelible 
contribution to 
Coltrane's Blue Train 
album in 1957, he also 
enjoyed a productive spell in 
Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in the 
first half of the '60s, where he wrote 
standout piece Alamode. Born in 
Detroit and raised in a Jesuit 
orphanage, Fuller's fascination 
with jazz began as a teen after 
hearing bebop trombonist JJ 
Johnson. Though he was a prolific 
sideman, playing with everyone 
from Wayne Shorter to Count Basie, 
he also cut a raft of well-regarded 
albums under his own name. А 
recipient of an NEA Jazz Master 
award in 2007, Fuller released his 


final album, In New Orleans, 11 
years later at the age of 86. 
Charles Waring 


Thomas came to prominence with 
The Triumphs via 1966's US Top 10 
take on I’m So Lonesome | Could 


A formidable improviser famed for 
his horn’s warm, resonant sound, 
Curtis Fuller helped to establish the 


pop with a country tinge remained 
achart presence in the first part of 


THEY ALSO SERVED 


PRODUCER, bassist and 
guitarist 

(b.Nick Page, 
1960, below) first came to 
prominence as part of techno 
fusionists Transglobal 
Underground in the early 
"906. His other projects 
included Temple Of Sound, 
the Ethiopian/Jamaican 
soundclash Dub Colossus 
and further explorations of 
the musics of Syria, 
Greece and 
beyond. Writing 
in tribute, Peter 
Gabriel spoke 
of Page 
possessing 
“warmth, а 
generous 
musicality and 
areally original 
intelligence.” 


STAFFORDSHIRE DRUMMER 
(b.1947) 
played in bands including 
The Pinch, Bakerloo Blues 
Line and Hiroshima, the 
latter with vocalist Rob 
Halford. The two later joined 
Brum metallers Judas Priest. 
Hinch played on the band's 
1974 debut Rocka Rolla, but 
left the group after that 
album's tour, later working in 
management with acts 
including Fashion, The 
Bureau and Uli Jon Roth. 


CHARLESTON, South Carolina 
voice 

(b.1964) 
gave a powerful, sensuous 
soul performance on 
Mantronix’s electro-funk 
1989 hit single, Got To Have 
Your Love. She was heard 
again the following year on 
Take Your Time, another UK 
Top 10 from the album, This 
Should Move Ya. Later credits 
included appearances with 
Spyro Суга, Baltimore's DJ 


Getty (2), Alamy, York 


a Cowan, 


Liz 





Spen and gospel house 
outfit Jasper Street Co. 


BASSIST and vocalist 
(b.1941) joined New 
Jersey pop institutions The 4 
Seasons in 1965, in time for 
their cover of Dylan's Don't 
ThinkTwice, released under 
the pseudonym The 
Wonder Who? to hit 
Number 12. Nine more Top 30 
singles, including 1975's 
US Number 3 Who 
Loves You, 
followed, before 
he left. He later 
played rock 
and jazz with 
LaBracio and 
Jersey 
Воипсе Іп 
2018, he was 
inducted into the 
Rockand Roll Hall of Fame. 


MODEL and singer 

(b.1962) famously 
stripped offto Marvin Gaye's 
| Heard It Through Тһе 
Grapevine, ona 1985 Levi's TV 
advert set in a launderette. 
This brought the Harlow- 
born former bass playerto 
theattention of Madonna, 
who gave him the 1986 UK 
Number 5 hit Each Time You 
Break My Heart. She also 
co-produced Kamen's 
self-titled debut album in 
1987. After three more LPs, 
Kamen gave up musicto work 
as an abstract painter and 
video-maker. 


FOLK SINGER, songwriter and 
lesbian activist 

(b.1940, below) 
started out on the 605 New 
York folk scene, rubbing 
shoulders with 
Bob Dylan. 
Dobkin's 1973 
debut album, 
Lavender Jane 
Loves Women 





108 MOJO 


was one of the first ‘out’ 
lesbian releases. Forging an 
independentalternative to 
the male-dominated music 
industry, releases on Dobkin's 
Women's Wax Works label 
included the compilation, 
Love & Politics, A 30 Year Saga. 
She was also known for her 
The Future Is Female T-shirt, 
later an internationally 
recognised slogan of the 
women's movement. 


RECORD SHOP and label 
owner 

(b.1932) founded what would 
become the Delmark imprint 
in St Louis in 1953. Moving to 
Chicago in 1958, the proudly 
independent label released 
veteran blues men, jazzers 
and new talent with equal 
care and attention, the 
catalogue ranging from 
Sleepy John Estes and 
Buddy Guy to SunRaand 
Anthony Braxton, among 
many others. In 1959 Koester 
opened his Jazz Record Mart, 
whose descendant outlet 
Bob's Blues & Jazz Mart 
continues to operate, though 
hesold Delmark in 2018. In 
1996 Koester, also a keen 
vintage film collector, 
became one of the few 
non-musicians to be inducted 
into the Blues Hall of Fame 


ALL-NIGHT RADIO LEGEND 
(b.1933) told his 
1960s audience: ገ wanna bea 
neuron - | don't wanna be the 
brain. We're all the brain." 
Beginning in 1963, Fass 
hosted Radio Unnameable on 
non-commercial WBAI in 
New York for over a 
half-century. The 
show functioned 
as an incubator 
for what's now 
called the 
countercul- 


ture: 605 regulars included 
Bob Dylan and Abbie 
Hoffman. He also debuted 
Jerry Jeff Walker's single Mr 
Bojangles and Arlo Guthrie's 
Alice's Restaurant live on air. 


ENGINEER, producer and 
armonica player 

(b.1947) was born 
in Gatineau, Quebec. He and 
his brother Daniel originally 
set up MSR Productions from 
their mother's house, and he 
ater opened his own studio, 
Bob's Shack, in Waterdown, 
Ontario. Along with his 
numerous technical credits, 
Lanois was an experienced 
photographer who shot 
cover images for Emmylou 
Harris's Wrecking Ball album, 
while his 2006 solo 
ong-player Snake Road was 
nominated for 
a Juno award. 


SINGER 

(b.1954, below) was the Тегі! 
voice of Milli Vanilli. From 
Anderson, South Carolina, 
Davis inadvertently becamea 
starin 1989 when the French/ 
German dance duo won 

the Grammy for Best 

New Artist for 

their single Girl 

You Know It's 

True. When 

frontmen 

Fabrice 

Morvan and 

RobPilatus 

admitted that 

they'd been 

lip-syncing to other singers’ 
voices, including Davis, they 
were stripped of their award. 
In '91, Davis sang on The Real 
Milli Vanilli’s The Moment Of 
Truth with other singers 
who'd sung the duo's hits, 
and later formed a duo 

with Morvan. 





NEW ORLEANS SAXOPHONIST 


(b.1943) joined Louisiana 
swampers John Fred And 
His Playboy Band in 1965. 
With bandleader John Fred 
Gourrier, Bernard co-wrote 
the simple but catchy 
January 68 US Number 1 and 
global bubblegum smash 
Judy In Disguise (With 
Glasses). He left after 19685 
Permanently Stated LP, 
worked in the oil industry and 
reunited with Gourrier for the 
singer's last LP Somebody's 
Knockin’ in 2002. 


PRODUCER and songwriter 


(b.1925) survived the Nazi 
invasion of Belgium. When 
peace came he worked in 
BBC children's programmes 
including Pinky and Perky. 
Later, while also serving as 
European manager at Decca, 
he produced recordings for 
Edmundo Ros, The Goons, 
andPatrick Macnee and 
Honor Blackman, whose 
1964 song Kinky Boots was а 
itin 1990. Asa writerand 
translator of continental 
material, Stellman's 
credits included 
songs for 
Charles 
Aznavour, 
Engelbert 
Humper- 
dinckand 
Max 
Bygraves, 
whose Tulips From 
Amsterdam was a 
monster success in 1958. 
Stellman also imported 
Channel 4's quiz show 
Countdown from French TV, 
and co-produced three 1978 
UK hits for Belgian cartoon 
phenomenon The Smurfs. 
Jenny Bulley, Michael Simmons 
andlan Harrison 














NV wv 





ፆ MOJO 
RECORD STORE 


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T ILO ту An Aladdin's Cave of rarities, 


collectables and new vinyl awaits. 
podcast 86 Tadcaster Road, York, YO24 1LR 













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TV news and reviews every Monday www.vinyleddie.co.uk 07975 899839 
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Wide selection with particular specialism in roots 


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... Stooges and 


MC5 


protest pot bust! 


“PIGS SCALP SINCLAIR’, reported 
JULY 26 the Detroit anarchist periodical 
Fifth Estate. John Sinclair, poet, manager of 
the MC5 and co-founder of the White Panther 
Party, had been in a world of pain since 
Christmas 1966. Accused of selling two joints 
to an undercover cop, he got his enforced 
haircut at Oakland County jail in Michigan. 
"They grabbed me and held me while some 
ponk [sic] with a pair of scissors cut my hair,” 
said Sinclair ofthe July 10 shearing. "This is 
whatthe pigs are all about. They want 
everyone to look and be just like them... 
they'll pay for this one way or another." 

Luckily, Sinclair had some friends in the 
Detroit area he could count on. Proto-punk 
culture-arsonists The Stooges and the MC5 
not only had his back, but were threatening 
something more terrifying still to the forces 
of reaction: both had deals with major label 
Elektra and were threatening to take their 
rock'n'roll insurrection to the US mainstream. 

The groups had been signed by PR Danny 
Fields to Elektra after a September 1968 show 
atthe University of Michigan (the MC5 got 
$15,000, with $5,000 for The Stooges, who 
then moved into chaotic communal 


110 MOJO 


headquarters the Fun House). The MC5's 
explosive live debut Kick Out The Jams had 
peaked in the US at Number 30 in May. In July, 
they were telling Jazz & Pop magazine how 
Sinclair hepped them to "the whole concept 
of energy". Said guitarist Wayne Kramer, sat in 
Fields' New York apartment, "if you take 
everything in the universe, take everything 
thatthe mind can conceive of, anything, 
everything, and break it down, you can only 
go as far as energy... energy is freedom." 

The MC5's “little brother” band The 
Stooges, who were arguably the more 
enticing prospect, had no shortage of 
energy-as-freedom. A dysfunctional group 


Real Cool Time (clockwise from 
main): in matching strides, Stooges 
Iggy (right) and Ron Asheton at 
Detroit’s Grande Ballroom; MC5 
and Stooges wax; the MC5 sweat 
(including, from right, Wayne 
Kramer and Rob Tyner); John 
Sinclair prepares to spark up. 





of friends, so messed up that ever-wired 
frontman James ‘Iggy’ Osterberg was the 
adult in the room, their combustible mix 
included the Velvets, the blues and Hendrix, 
mixed with the out-of-control audience 
provocation of Jim Morrison. As The 
Psychedelic Stooges they'd already shared 
stages with Sly Stone, Cream and the Mothers 
at Detroit's Grande Ballroom, gaining excited 
infamy for Iggy's trouser-bursting, food- 
slathering, stage-diving live antics. 

The earliest known footage of the band, 
filmed by Leni Sinclair, dates from a July 20 
performance at the Delta Pops Festival at 
Michigan University Centre. The symbols are 
loaded: as well as a Stars And Stripes апа а 
White Panther flag, guitarist Ron Asheton 
sports a Nazi armband. Iggy can be seen 
dropping to the floor and invading the sitting 
crowd, flinging a hapless girl over his 
shoulder (this was apparently the college 
dean's daughter). "People were fascinated," 
said Ron Asheton of the primal Stooges 
experience, in 1988. "It was sort of like driving 
by an accident, and there's a car wreck... you 
wanna see if there's some blood, or if you can 
[see], ‘Oh, that guy is really fucked up...” 

This month they had their self-titled, John 
Cale-produced debut album ready to go, 
heralded by debut 45 | Wanna Be Your Dog. 
There were high hopes for this smart/dumb 
nihilist power surge. Billboard expected 
similar sales as The Doors, and gushed about, 
"a rough and raw Rolling Stones-type 


7), Advertising Archives 


E^ 
Ё 
© 

о 


sound... sophisticated pop execution... will 
boost The Stooges to the top." Though Iggy 
was sore that they renamed him ‘Iggy 
Stooge’ on the record cover without telling 
him, he said in 2016 book Total Chaos: "I 
thought that the label had class. | wanted to 
be with a class label, and I think long term, 
that was a really good thing.” 

Yet in the short term, not so much. As if 
in imitation of the album photoshoot, when 
a stoned Iggy tried to liven up Joel Brodsky's 
session by diving chin-first onto the 
concrete studio floor, The Stooges was nota 
success, entering the charts at Number 131, 
finally reaching Number 106 in October. 

John Sinclair's news had been bad too. 
Despite The Stooges and the MC5 playing 
a Legal Self Defence benefit for him at the 
Grande Ballroom on July 23, on July 28 he 
was sentenced to nine-and-a-half to 10 
years in prison. He would eventually serve 
justtwo, after a legal battle and the 
high-profile support of pals including John 
Lennon, Jane Fonda and Stevie Wonder. 
Sadly, both The Stooges and the MCS failed 
to breakthrough and would split in the next 
few years, though their inspirational legacy 
to rockers bent on going further continues 
to reverberate. 

A final twist came on the morning of 
November 28, 2019, when Sinclair scored his 
first legal weed from Arbors Wellness. The 
Ann Arbor dispensary was located less than 
three miles from where both the Fun House 
and the MC5's headquarters stood. It was a 
factthat could not have been lost on him, as 
he exhaled heavy Gorilla Glue No. 4 smoke 
into the Michigan air. 


lan Harrison 








SCOTT'S MOR PEAK 


Scott Walker peaks at Number 
JULY 13 13 with his mellow 45 Lights Of 
Cincinnati; on the 12th, his MOR covers 
collection Sings Songs From His TV Series 
peaked at 7. He's had a good year - in March 
he hosted the above-named BBCTV show, 
while in April his Scott 3 album reached 
Number 3. But amid other troublesome 





In the Milky Way: 
Syd Barrett, 
| moony rocker. 


Floyd's first 
lunar trip 


To mark Apollo 11 astro- 
JULY 20 nauts Neil Armstrong and 
Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon, at 10pm 
ВВС15 Omnibus arts show broadcasts live 
special What If It's Just Green Cheese? Pink 
Floyd play a live improvisation to 
accompany the moon landing, "a nice, 
atmospheric, spacey, 12-bar blues" (said 
Dave Gilmour) later named Moonhead. 
Judi Dench, Roy Dotrice, lan McKellen, 
Michael Gough and Michael Hordern read 
lunar poetry, with more music from the 
Dudley Moore Trio and Marion Montgom- 
ery. Six days later Gilmour and bandmate 
Roger Waters are at Abbey Road co- 
producing Syd Barrett's solo debut The 
Madcap Laughs. The July 26 session – the 
album's last – yields Feel, Long Gone and 
aptly for the planetary times, Wouldn't 
You Miss Me (Dark Globe). 


Engels and devils: 
Scott entertains 
the mums and 
dads, onelast time. 





events - this summer he's up before the US 
draft board (he's declared unfit to serve in 
Vietnam), and he also sacks his manager, 
Maurice King – his balancing of commerciality 
and art will not last. Released in December, 
the all-original Scott 4, credited to Scott Engel, 
fails to chart, and his pop fame is over. "You 
can't please everybody,” he reflects later. 











John Lennon crashes his 

Austin Maxi into a ditch 
while on holiday in the 
Scottish Highlands with Yoko 
Ono and their respective kids 
(all above). Stitches are 
required. On July 9 he rejoins 
the rest of The Beatles in 
London to resume recording 
Abbey Road. 


Brian Jones, who was 

dismissed from The 
Rolling Stones in June, is 
found dead at his farmhouse 
in East Sussex. Two days later 
the Stones dedicate their free 
concert at Hyde Park to him: 
Pete Townshend and Jim 
Morrison both publish 
poems in Jones's memory. 


Il David Bowie's Space 
Oddity is released in time 
for the moon landings. It will 
become a UK Number 5 hit in 
November, taking until April 
773 to reach US Number 15. 


25 Can play an epic gig at 
Schloss Norvenich near 
Cologne. Their performance 
of Yoo Doo Right is released 
in a month as side two of 
their debut LP Monster Movie. 


3l Opening with Blue Suede 
Shoes, Elvis Presley 
makes his live comeback to 
an invitation-only 
2,000-strong crowd at the 
International Hotel 
showroom in Las Vegas. It’s 
his first public performance 
since 1962, and he'll play 
more than 600 Vegas dates 
before he's through. 











TOP TEN 


SWISS 
SINGLES 


OH HAPPY 

DAY THE EDWIN 
HAWKINS SINGERS 
BUDDAH 


MENDOCINO 
Ж. SIR DOUGLAS 
QUINTET MERCURY 


THE BALLAD 

OF JOHN AND 
YOKO THE 
BEATLES APPLE 


AQUARIUS/ 
LET THE 
SUNSHINE IN 

(THE FLESH 
FAILURES) THE 
5TH DIMENSION 
LIBERTY 


HONKY TONK 

WOMEN THE 
ROLLING STONES 
DECCA 


TOMORROW 

TOMORROW 
THE BEE GEES 
POLYDOR 


GIVE PEACE 

A CHANCE 
PLASTIC ONO 
BAND APPLE 


ISRAELITES 

DESMOND 
DEKKER & THE 
ACES EMBER 


I WANT 

TO LIVE 
APHRODITE'S 
CHILD MERCURY 


DIZZY 
TOMMY ROE 
STATESIDE 


Hair, apparently: 
at Number 4, The 
5th Dimension 





BLACK 
AND WHITE 





1> DEAD 








Pye Colour lives 


Grainy B&W telly is declared over by those 
heralds of the new dawn, Pye. Cost: £346, 


which is nearly FIVE GRAND in today’s pounds. 





MOJO 111 








Enjoyed the Ram feature in MOJO 331, but 
something that's always puzzled me is why the 
1971 single The Back Seat Of My Car was a flop in 
the UK. Justa year after The Beatles split you 
would have thought one of them playing a 
trombone underwater with boxing gloves on 
would have been a hit, so what went wrong? 
| would imagine there have been a few other 
singles down the years that have looked like 
sure-fire hits but died a death. Does 
anyone know of any and why? 
Frank Henry, via e-mail 


І s: In the same week 

that George Harrison's Bangla 

Desh was at Number 12, Paul 

and Linda McCartney's The 

Back Seat Of My Car should 

have done better than Number 

39. Wasitalittle meandering, 

too long after the album, with 

no new B-side? Which never 
stopped Michael Jackson rinsing 
Thrillerfor hits, of course. The fact is, 
eventhe mighty aren't immuneto the 
occasional pass from the public - why did 
the Stones’ Waiting On A Friend only make it to 

UK Number 50, for example, and why did none of 
the singles off Fleetwood Mac's Rumours make the 
UK Top 20? It's always a gamble - imagine the A&R 
department headscratching when sure-fire 
smashes like The Only Ones' Another Girl, Another 
Planetor Big Star's September Gurls tanked, 
though in low-charting situations like AC/DC's 
Highway To Hell or The Beach Boys' Fun, Fun, Fun, 
time has ultimately vindicated them. In terms of 
songs eluding deserved success on release, 
though, there must be a special place for Leonard 
Cohen's Hallelujah. Released as a single in 1984, it 
was completely ignored in the US and Britain, 
though oddly, it did get to Number 1 in France. 


112 MOJO 


What were the 
super flop 45s? 










BURGER SOUNDS 


Iwas tickled to read about the 
Warp records/Stannah Stairlifts 
connection in MOJO 330. I’ve 
read that McDonald's burger magnate Ray Kroc 
started outas a musician. Did he record at all? 
Dennis Shaw, via e-mail 


Kroc talked about his piano-playing 
pastin his candid 1977 memoir Grinding It Out. Asa 
young "sheikh" in the '20s he provided musical 
accompaniment іп a brothel in Calumet City, Illinois 
(singer Herbie Mintz got him the job), while at 
Chicago's WGES radio he recalled working with 

armless lyricist Tommie Malie, whose 
co-writes included Looking At The 
World Through Rose-Coloured 
Glasses, later recorded by Frank 
Sinatra. In Florida, Kroc later 
played with the Willard Robison 
Orchestra, whose leader's 
credits included A Cottage For 
Sale (as sung by Sinatra, Chuck 
Berry and James Brown, the 
latter getting funky in a 
McDonald's ad in 1984) and jazz 
standard Old Folks. Alas, Kroc 
gave up music for fast food before 
he could record, but Mark Knopfler cut 
asombre musical portrait of the burger 
titan with his 2004 single Boom, Like That. 


WHO ARE THE REAL 
TROUPERS? 


Steve Holland, the last original member of Molly 
Hatchet, died on August 2, 2020. Despite there 
being no original members left, Molly Hatchet 
continues to perform live as of 2021. Is this the 
first active band of which all original band 
members have passed away? 

Jurgen Verhoeven, Belgium 


1 5: There are groups who have all passed 
on- - Ramones and The Heartbreakers, we salute 
you - butasforthem still being active, the 
orchestras of Duke Ellington and Count Basie, who 


Thwarts'n'all: (clockwise 
from above) AC/DC's 
Angus Young waits for 
Highway To Hell to be 
ahit; The Kinks' 1986 
long-player; tape-head 
Nick Laird-Clowes; James 
Brown, separated by five 
degrees from burger 
tycoon Ray Kroc. 


debuted on wax in 1926 
and 1937 respectively, are 
still playing, as are versions 
of The Platters and The Drifters, despite all original 
members having left this mortal coil. Other 
candidates include The Kingston Trio and The 
Wurzels – any other suggestions? 


MORE BOOTLEG BLUES 


Apropos the search for super bad recordings (Ask 
MOJO 332). I was once gifted a cassette recording 
of a Wings concert (by my then-schoolmate Nick 
Laird-Clowes, laterto find fame with Dream 
Academy). As the band goes into Hi, Hi, Hi, on the 
tape сап clearly be heard, "Get off my fucking 
foot!", presumably from a less than impressed 
fellow audience member! The tribulations of a 
cassette recorder in your pocket and a micro- 
phone down your sleeve... 

Nick Paterson-Morgan, via e-mail 


Marvellous stuff. For another no-fi 
treat, thanks also to Steven McGill for suggesting 
the live 1987 La's show released on the Callin’ All 
CD: “Even now you will shout at the crowd to shut 
up," he says. 


When | got The Kinks’ Think Visual in 1986, The 
Video Shop was contemporary commentary. Now 
it seems very nostalgic. Does anyone have any 
other good examples of similar songs, preferably 
including references to decimal coinage or the 
bad influence oftoo much TV? 

David Lloyd, via e-mail 


ys: Overto you, but we'll start the betting 
with Pulp's Disco 2000. 


CONTACTMOJO 





Have you gota challenging musical question for the MOJO 
Brains Trust? E-mail askmojo@bauermedia.co.uk and 
we'll help untangle your trickiest puzzles. 





Getty (3) 


Courtesy Fred Dellar Estate 


FAREWELL, 


1931-2021 


; BELOVED 


LEGEND OF THE MUSIC PRESS 


page. Until recently, he would also be hosting 

the Time Machine and Ask Fred sections, as 
well as sharing his expertise and taste as a reviewer. 
Each contribution was essential, as a lifetime of 
curation, data-gathering and enthusiasm came 
together in words guaranteed to inform and 
entertain. Sadly, Fred left us on May 15, just two 
weeks shy of his 90th birthday. 

Born on May 29, 1931 in Willesden, north-west 
London, he recalled of his youth, “I spent all of my 
pre-teen years in a fish and chip shop - right up to 
the moment when a German bomb blew the roof 
off our Earlsfield establishment." Called up to do his 
national service in 1950, he was posted to Bomber 
Command Headquarters at RAF High Wycombe, 
where he started a jazz club and booked bands 
including the 20-piece Toni Anton's Progressive 
Orchestra. “I never saw the inside of an aircraft 
during the whole two years," Fred quipped, 
“though | learnt to type properly." 

The skill would come in handy. A youth club DJ 
and lecturer, part-time "street skiffler" and habitué 
of nightspots including Willesden's Club Satchmo, 
run by compere and promoter Bix Curtis ("he 
taught me so much about jazz," Fred said), his love 
of music found an outlet in writing. As well as 
producing jazz fanzines, he had his first words 
published in Record Mirror in 1955. As Secretary of 
the Frank Sinatra Appreciation Society, he was one 
ofthe few invited guests present at the Chairman's 
only British recording sessions, at Bayswater's CTS 
studios in June 1962. As the '60s gathered pace, he 
began contributing to Hi-Fi News and writing 
sleevenotes, the first being Jambo Caribe by Dizzy 
Gillespie in 1965. He also retained his invitation to a 
Sinatra reception, as if anticipating the future 
world's appetite for documentary evidence of this 
golden time. He kept his back issues and updated 
his files, already accumulating the facts and 
analysis he would be celebrated for. 

After being made redundant from his 
warehouse job in 1972, Fred applied to work at the 
NME, where he would remain until the mid-'90s. 
Immune from the year zero antagonism of punk 


Р RED DELLAR'S crossword should be on this 





This 18 to confirm that the М.М.Е. FAED РАСТ feature 
Factory Communications Ltd. page has been allocated the 
following official Factory Catalogue number: 

РАС 227 


Signed on behalf of Factory! 


/ ^ 


/ ; | لم‎ 
“ا‎ v fh. 


A. It. MLiIaon 
Chairman 
Factory Coasuntcations Ltd. 


- Tony Parsons and Julie Burchill famously bought 
him cakes - his roles included serving as deputy 
news editor, reviewing imports and demos, and 
interviewing artists including Tom Waits, Mama 
Cass, Stevie Wonder, Tangerine Dream and Daevid 
Allen. It was at NME that he hosted his Fred Fact 
column, an always genial outpost where readers 
could request discographies, have questions 
answered and pursue the kind of secret knowledge 
the pre-internet age did not give up easily. A 1989 
three-part Fred Fact report on the Factory label was 
famously given its own Factory catalogue number 
- FAC227 - by Tony Wilson. He wrote books about 
Sinatra, country music and, the one he said he was 
most proud of, 1981's The NME Guide To Rock 
Cinema. He also contributed to Smash Hits, The 
Wire, Vox, The Face and, later, Loaded. 


bringing his crisp prose and broad knowledge, 

he felt like ап envoy from a legendary time in the 
music industry, having survived innumerable shifts 
in fashion and years of change in media and 
technology. But Fred wore it lightly, always. Smartly 
dressed, modest and self-deprecating, he was 
happiest sharing some fact or story about one of 


| М 1996, Fred found a home at MOJO. As well as 


p^ 


The only definitive quide. 


his many interests (which could be Peggy Lee or 
Mark Murphy, Frankie Lymon or the history of the 
Grand Ole Opry, the music of the Harlem 
Globetrotters or the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943), and 
recalling London's bygone music scene and its 
characters. Friends including Roy Carr and Stan 
Britt, and the clubs, label offices and studios may 
have gone from the world, but they existed, still, 
in his memories. 

It was frequently said in the MOJO office that he 
should get an OBE or something similar, but this 
was never his style. Instead, he lived a music life, 
never lost the thrill of his chosen subject, and 
worked hard sharing that thrill as long as he could. 

Having sadly lost his wife Pam last year, Fred 
scaled back his writing. At home in Northampton, 
he wrote “best to just sit back, enjoy life and watch 
those late-night movies.” His final published 
crossword appeared in last month’s issue. Fred 
once described MOJO as “a magazine | love”, and 
the feeling was entirely mutual. We will miss this 
unique, universally liked and genuinely nice man 
more than words can say. 





THE MOJO CROSSWORD WILL RETURN NEXT MONTH 











` The Guv’nor (anticlockwise 
j "from main): Fred Dellar in / 
/ recent years;smartlad hits 

the jazz clubs; receiving | 
the FAC number in 1989; on 
left, with friend Stan Britt 
(centre), in the '705; skiffling 
withhisbanjo;aFred | 
favourite; asa child. 


/ 


М 


16 госК, pop, 


soul and disco music in the movies 


Fred Dellar 





Paul Slattery, AJ Barratt 


GOODBYE 





HELLO SUMMER 1982 


| joined Prefab Sprout when I was 16.1 was 
living in a semi-derelict cottage in Durham 
with my best friend who introduced me to 
Paddy and Martin McAloon at their dad's 
petrol station in Witton Gilbert. They had 
started Prefab Sprout with drummer Michael 
Salmon who lived nearby. They turned one of 
the garage buildings into a rehearsal studio 
for the band. I went to see them perform at 
the Brewers Arms in Gilesgate. Their hand- 
drawn posters used the strap line ‘Simply Ears 
Ahead’. They were exquisite musicians, quirky 
performers who sometimes wore wellies. 
There was a Melos tape echo chamber that 
regularly went wrong. The music was 
complex, with radical chord changes and 
styles, literary lyrics, deft melodic bass lines 
and drums that skipped. At first, | didn't 
understand their music, couldn't hear it or 
fully take itin. Then the song 
Walk On, or Goodbye Lucille 
#7, found a way in, opened 
my earsto the rest. 

I'd actually been 
visualising myself being in 
the band. | told them | could 
sing. Paddy invited me to 
sing ona demo of a song 
called Cherry Tree. We 
recorded the track at 
Durham University 
recording studio in front 
of Durham Cathedral, 
recording overnight 
because it was cheaper. | 
remember being nervous 
and sitting down to sing. 

Our voices blended well, 


114 MOJO 





prout 


created an atmosphere and | could handle the 
complex harmonies Paddy wanted to create. 
Later, Paddy and Mart came round and said, 
“Will you be in the band?" | joined the band. 

It was like walking into the most amazing 
artistic world. We recorded [1984 debut] 
Swoon, uncommon songs written out of 
necessity. Michael Salmon left, [drummer] 
Neil Conti joined and [producer] Thomas 
Dolby became the fifth Sprout. We signed an 
eight-album deal with CBS through legendary 
A&R Muff Winwood. We joined a whole roster 
of labelmates, Alison Moyet, George Michael, 
Pierre Boulez, Olivier Messiaen, Maurice 
Ravel. We made [1985 LP] Steve McQueen. 


| 


I remember trips to Los Angeles, making From 
Langley Park To Memphis (1988), mixing Jordan: 
The Comeback (1990). Ahead were months in 
the studio, living in an unfamiliar place, too 
far from home. The Hollywood hills, a house 
with a David Hockney pool, another that once 
belonged to Rudolph Valentino, a stay in the 
Hollywood Roosevelt, the Sunset Marquis. 

Touring was not our forte. 
Though I’m sure we were a 
great live band. We were 
never rock'n'roll, more Earl 
Grey than Jack Daniel's. The 
CEO of CBS senta memo 
saying | looked like The 
Singing Nun and something 
had to be done. І bought a 
minuscule velvet skirt, a Rifat 
Ozbek sequin cat-suit, a 
skin-tight Pam Hogg dress. 
In the gaps between albums 
Ithought about women's 
voices, everyone's right to 
be creative, the importance 
of musicin people's lives. 

We went through a 
period wherelleft Prefab 





The best jewel thieves 
in the world: early days 
Prefab Sprout (from left) 
Paddy McAloon, Michael 
қ Salmon, Wendy Smith 
З апа Martin McAloon. 





Sprout, had intolerable grief, re-joined and 
left again. When you've been working so 
closely with people in such a committed way, 
moving out of itis not simple. The lastthing 
might have been the video for A Prisoner Of 
The Past [April 1997]. Paddy and Mart did go 
ona tour [in 2000] when | was effectively on 
maternity leave, but | was really still around 
until about 2001. | knew | had to move into a 
different thing, and | was incredibly lucky that 
as | was thinking about it, the Sage Gateshead 
was being built [Smith is Director of Contem- 
porary Music at the northeast culture nexus]. 

At the beginning of the pandemic my 
friend Tim Burgess asked me to host a Twitter 
Listening Party for Steve McQueen. Since then, 
Tim has created a musical movement, 
bringing people together when we needed 
it most. Recently the band LYR [formed by 
author/Poet Laureate Simon Armitage] 
borrowed a line from the Sprout song Desire 
As for their beautiful song Winter Solstice. | 
was honoured to be invited to record the line 
for their track. That's where l'm still part of it. 
It's still a living thing, it hasn't ended. 

My relationships with Paddy and Martin 
are still extremely valuable to me. They're key 
to my life. Could we do it again? We've sung 
together when we've visited each other, but 
we're unlikely to, in terms of public singing. 
That's a gut instinct, not a fact. There's so 
much unreleased material (of Paddy's), and I'd 
love to see them live. | can't tell you how he 
does what he does. He's a magician. It's magic. 

Additional interview by lan Harrison 





Winter Solstice by LYR featuring Wendy Smith is 
outnow. 


In the magic years, with 
drummer Neil Conti (right); 
(left) Wendy today. 


ቋ 


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